Child Gets Out Of House, Wanders The Neighborhood - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/25/07-White Oak

Child Gets Out Of House, Wanders The Neighborhood

A three-year-old gets out of the house and wanders the streets of an East Texas neighborhood and the mother tells investigators this wasn't the first time its happened.   Thursday, police say it happened around 11am in the mobile home community of South Lake Harris Road in White Oak.   Now, the mother of that child faces charges of child endangerment.

Erica Allen and her family spent the morning worrying about a three-year-old girl they'd never met before. That is, until they saw her roaming their neighborhood.  

"This girl was walking up the street and she wasn't wearing any clothes, she was just wearing a diaper, she walked up to my husband and we ushered her up to the porch and we got her there, we tried getting her name and her house where she lived, anything out of her. She wouldn't say," Erica says.

That's when they decided to call police.   

"We stayed out here about an hour knocking on doors and we were unable to find the parent so we took the child to the police department and contacted Child Protective Services," says Lieutenant Terry Roach with the White Oak Police Department.

After about an hour, police got the call they'd been waiting for. It was the little girl's mother.   

"She said she was washing dishes and cleaning the house and then her daughter left the living room went to the bedroom and once she got finished washing dishes like 45 minutes later she went to check on her daughter and her daughter was gone," Lt. Roach says.

"I just couldn't imagine my child being lost or roaming around out here by herself," says Erica.

Police say it's a situation that happens all too often. 

"A lot of times the parents work nights and they're sleeping and they don't hear the child get up and go out, that's why you need the child restraints on the doors to keep the child inside," Roach says.

The mother told police she had child-proof locks on her doors, but during the investigation they found out she did not.

White Oak Police say they found the woman's sink was full of dishes during their investigations.  She later admitted to police she was not washing dishes, but had actually fallen asleep. The child is now in the grandmother's custody.. Investigators say charges may be filed next week.

Tracy Watler/Reporting:  

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