A 6-year-old boy who was accidentally left behind by his family after they celebrated his birthday at a restaurant will temporarily remain in state custody, a judge ruled Monday.
Michael James Emanuel Jr.’s family said they accidentally left him Saturday night and didn’t notice he was missing until the next day. Each relative thought the child was with another family member, they told police.
Employees at the Boca Raton restaurant called police, and the child was taken into state custody, Palm Beach County sheriff’s spokesman Paul Miller said Monday.
Diane Duvall, an attorney for the boy’s mother, Lacqetta Monroe, 23, told the judge there were 12 kids at the party at a Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant, and as they all piled into cars to leave, the boy was simply overlooked.
The state Department of Children and Families will likely determine Tuesday whether Michael can live temporarily with a relative, Palm Beach County Juvenile Judge Ronald Alvarez said.
Duvall declined to comment on the case outside court. The Department of Children and Families also declined to comment. Monroe’s telephone number was not listed under her name.
No criminal charges have been filed.