A Williamsburg mother, whose four-year-old son was found wondering alone off US25W last Wednesday afternoon, was arrested for endangering the welfare of a minor.
Williamsburg Police Detective Bobby Freeman said this was the third time this year that the child has been found wondering alone.
Williamsburg K-9 Officer Elijah Hunter and Officer David Rowe received a complaint on May 17 that a small child was walking alone on US25W.
“There’s a little boy on Town Hill in Williamsburg, by that restaurant on Hill Top? By himself,” one caller told a 911 dispatcher.
When police arrived at the scene, witnesses had the child off to the side of the road, according to an arrest citation.
Freeman said that the child told police his mama, who is actually his great grandmother, told him he could walk to Wal-Mart.
Freeman said that the child’s great grandmother is neither physically nor mentally able to care for the child.
Freeman said that the boy’s mother wasn’t home when police arrived at her Rains Street residence to investigate.
When Hunter finally spoke to the mother of the child, she told police that she left the child with her grandmother, who is the child’s great grandmother, so she could go spend a couple of nights with her dad even though she knew her grandmother was not able to take care of the child, Hunter wrote on Barbara A. Vanderpool’s arrest citation.
The child was found about one-quarter mile from his home, Freeman said.
Freeman said that he personally helped investigate one prior incident in March that involved the child wandering down Rains Street wearing only a diaper.
“We called social services and they already had a referral on her and the child,” Freeman said.
Vanderpool, 24, was lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center about 6:30 p.m. last Wednesday, and was released about 11:30 a.m. the next day on a $1,000 surety bond.
Freeman said that according to investigating officers, social services turned the child over to its grandmother, who is Vanderpool’s mother.