Two baby sitters were arrested after a 2-year-old boy they were supposed to be watching wandered off and was found on a busy street, crying for his mother, police said.
A resident called police Sunday morning after she found the boy, who was wearing a diaper and shirt, police said. The boy was unharmed.
Police said they knocked on 150 doors in the neighborhood while looking for his caregivers, but no one recognized the boy. They said they were about to hand him over to the state Department of Human Services when the sitters called.
“We got a phone call from the people watching the little boy, real nonchalantly said, ‘Did you find a child? We’re missing one,”’ Van Buren police Cpl. Chris Hoffsommer said.
Jeremy Ruehle, 21, and his wife, Meghan Ruehle, 19, both of Van Buren, started to watch the boy on Friday. Police said the Ruehles were still asleep when he wandered off. Both face misdemeanor child endangerment charges.
The child’s mother, Ashley Ruehle, 37, of Alma, came to the station and told police it was her first night out in two years. But police said she was arrested when officers discovered outstanding arrest warrants on charges of writing bad checks and theft of a lease property.
Police did not say whether the baby sitters and mother were related. The boy was turned over to his grandparents.