(WMC-TV) - A tearful 3-year-old mysteriously appeared in an elderly woman's carport all alone Thursday morning. After a few frantic hours, deputies found the father at home not too far.
Neighbors on Northaven Drive found the child crying. They went door-to-door trying to find the parents. Then a resident called authorities.
"He was barefoot. And wet," said Northaven resident and neighborhood watch commander Leah Stricklin."Poor little old fella. Just crying. Upset. Didn't know where he lived."
No one recognized him. Concerned neighbors canvassed Northaven for 90 minutes.
Initial reports said the child was dropped off so the Department of Child Services headed that way.
Sheriff's deputies finally found his house, one where neighbors had already knocked but got no answer.
The boy's father told deputies he awoke to find his son missing with the front door slightly ajar.
Deputies decided not to file criminal charges. The father declined an interview request.
"He may have just wandered out of the house, walked down the street a little bit. Got lost. And got confused," said Shelby County Sheriff's Office public information officer Chip Washington.
Neighbors said they are glad the boy is safe. They just hope it stays that way.
"This is Northaven, and there's a lot of kids out here," said resident Tanka Wilson."That kind of 'throwed' me a little bit that he's three and out here wandering the streets."
Neighbors said no one knew the little boy or his family because they just moved in the area. Deputies said the neighbors deserve a lot of credit for taking care of the boy.