updated 3/28/2009 5:57:44 PM ET 2009-03-28T21:57:44

A prison work crew kept a toddler safe after the child was found wandering alone on a rural highway, Maryland authorities said.

The six minimum-security inmates shared their lunches with the boy and played with him, while authorities spent hours trying to locate the 2-year-old's relatives, a correction officer said.

A dump truck driver had spotted the toddler early Friday on a hilly quarry road near the Pennsylvania line, a trooper said. The trucker then handed the boy to the litter-picking crew for safekeeping.

Troopers eventually found the boy's home. The father told police the child was being watched by a teenage daughter, who later left without notice.

Authorities were investigating.

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