Toddler in state custody after found on South Side street in middle of night

A toddler is in state custody after he was found overnight wandering the streets of Chicago's South Side without a hat, coat or shoes.
February 28, 2014 4:19:08 PM PST
A toddler is in state custody after he was found overnight wandering the streets of Chicago's South Side without a hat, coat or shoes.

The two-and-a-half year old boy apparently walked out of the building where he lives, and was found two blocks away. Eyewitness News heard the story from his mother, who says it was all an accident.

"I put him down to sleep, as I look at him, he was asleep, I got out the bed to not make a move so he doesn't wake up," said Ms. Thompson, boy's mother.

Thompson, who wishes for us not to reveal her first name, says she made sure her son was asleep, before she went back to watching TV.

"I dozed off myself with you guys at my door and they are telling me my son is not here and look inside the house and come to find out it's true," said Ms. Thompson.

She says her son, Marlon, just wondered off and she didn't find out about it until news broke Friday morning.

The young boy was rescued by a Good Samaritan driving by.

"I'm very thankful for the person who did brought him and called the police because anything could have happened out here to my son," said Ms. Thompson.

Police say the boy was found near 82nd and Avalon. Not knowing who the boy belonged to, they released his picture hoping to find his family. Early Friday morning, his grandmother saw the photo and called Marlon's mother, who then realized her son was not in his bedroom.

John Clark is the building manager. He says he knows the boy's mother and that this was just an accident.

"It was not her fault, that child is a playful child, a friendly child, and a child goes wandering, it was not her fault," said Clark.

It was just 3 degrees when Marlon was found late Thursday night. He was treated at the hospital and released to the Department of Children and Family Services. His mom just wants him back.

"I'm not a neglectful mother, everyone know me knows I've been a single momma since day one. I got total control of this, this was an accident gone freak wrong," said Ms. Thompson.

Thompson says her son, Marlon, knows how to open doors and she says she's asked building management to put new locks so he doesn't get away.

In a statement issued Friday, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said it is "currently investigating the mother of Marlon Johnson for allegations of neglect; our investigation is pending. DCFS has had no prior reports regarding this family. DCFS took protective custody of the child, and he has been placed with a foster home."


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