EUGENE, Ore. — For more than an hour Wednesday morning, police combed through a South Eugene neighborhood trying to reunite a toddler with his family. Police said it was a very rare situation, since the little boy was found, but no one ever noticed he was gone.
Police went door to door with the toddler in tow, trying to figure out where he belonged. “No one reported the child missing. We canvassed the area and knocked on a lot of doors,” said Offier Aaron Johns.
The search started around 10:00 a.m. when the boy was spotted on the playground at Adams Elementary. “Didn’t have any parents or any responsible parties around that belonged to the child,” said Johns.
As police knocked on doors and asked passerbys if they knew the little boy, they kept getting the same answer. “No one recognized the child from the neighborhood,” said Johns.
After about an hour and fifteen minutes passed, the pastor of a church tuned into KEZI 9 News Midday and realized he knew the boy who was found and the boy’s grandparents were right across the street from the playground. “They run a nursery there and he had escaped from the nursery while they were teaching some classes at the church,” said Johns.
The boys grandmother said he and his brother stay in a nursery across the hall from where she and her husband teach classes. While they say they heard a door open and close, they looked outside and didn’t see anything unusual, so they didn’t notice he was gone. “So it was a unique situation. I’ll be doing a report, writing it to DHS, but no charges are going to be filed at this time,” said Johns.
The boy’s grandmother said they’re working to figure out how he got outside because he’s not big enough to open the door. But, to be safe they’ll be installing a bell or some sort of security device on the door to prevent this from happening again.