A two-year-old child was found at 8:09 a.m. Nov. 1 playing alone in a front yard on Berger Court, according to Oberlin police.
A young witness told investigators he heard scratching at the front door of his house and thought it was a cat, but when he opened the door he saw the child walking away and assumed an adult was nearby.
Roughly 45 minutes later, he saw the child playing with Halloween decorations in the front yard, a police report said. The boy woke his parents and called 911.
Oberlin officers found the child in one-piece pajamas with muddy and wet feet.
When officers changed the child’s diaper it was soaked with urine and fell apart. Officers believe it had not been changed for about 12 hours.
Police went door-to-door until they found the child’s babysitter, who was frantically searching as well. The woman did not know the child’s name or the full name of the child’s father or mother or where they lived.
The child was taken to the police station while officers contacted Lorain County Children Services and family members.
Working with Lorain County sheriff’s deputies and two other police departments, Oberlin investigators found the child’s grandparents.
The grandmother told police she was concerned for the safety of the child and believed the mother was abusing heroin and prescription pain medications. She told police the child shouldn’t be returned to its parents.
The child’s mother told police she worked the nights of both Oct. 30 and Oct. 31. “She attempted to blame her child for opening the front door and causing the situation,” the police report said.
The mother told police she dropped off extra diapers Oct. 31, did not call to check on her child during the two days, and was not sure when she was going to pick him up.
The report said the grandmother received text messages from the mother saying she did not want the child anymore. The grandmother received temporary custody of the child from children services.
The case has been forward to the city prosecutor for consideration of charges for child endangering against the mother.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.