Dad Explains How He And Wife Forgot Toddler In Corn Maze, Didn't Notice Until Morning

A good Samaritan called authorities to alert them that a three-year-old child was wandering around a corn maze alone. The little boy was found all by himself, so an off-duty police officer let him watch a movie in her patrol car as the staff members searched the maze for the parents.

They thought the parents might have been in the maze searching for the tot, but no such luck. After a while, it occurred to them that the child had been left behind.

Authorities expected a call to come in sometime soon from a frantic parent who realized they pulled away before strapping the tot in his car seat, but that didn't happen either.

Police were baffled about the little boy being just abandoned at the maze. Finally, the next morning, that call came.

The child's mother woke up the next day and realized her toddler was nowhere to be found. She called police, frantic.

"She realized she may have left him at the corn maze and called us," said Sgt. Joe Monson to The Salt Lake Tribune.

The mother arrived at the police department with her other children in tow. The Division of Child and Family Service questioned the family before releasing the little boy. The family explained that it was all a horrible mistake.

The father of the child, who is only known by the first name, Robert, told The Tribune what happened in detail. The dad says it was a complete accident and it could have happened to anyone.

Robert is the father in the plural family, and he lives in a home with more than one wife and many children. He and the missing tot's mother have fourteen children together.

The mother and her sister, who has two or three kids of her own, went to the corn maze together on Columbus Day with their kids. The families used several cars to transport the large quantity of children to the location.

The mother did buckle the three-year-old into the car when she was putting young children in car seats and booster seats, but then some older children asked if they could go wait in line for doughnuts.

The mothers said yes and waited for them to return for 15 minutes.

At some point, the 3-year-old got loose and got out.

The families took off and both went back to Robert's house, where the kids all played and watched a movie. There were several children about the same size and hair color as the three-year-old, and apparently no one stopped to do a head count.

Eventually, the sister took her kids and went home, and Roberts' kids went to bed.

No one noticed the three-year-old wasn't in his bed because he has a tendency to wander, even at home, and will usually go into a different room to sleep with older children. Robert himself wasn't there at the time, as he was working until later.

In the morning, the mother called her husband in a panicked state. She couldn't find the toddler and realized she hadn't seen him since the corn maze.

Robert says that the chaotic outing was a diversion from their normal routine, and because of all the children they hadn't noticed that the little one snuck away. According to the dad, the family was treated kindly by police and they were very cooperative.

The child was returned to them, but DCF says there may be some follow-up visits and interviews.

“I’m mostly relieved,” Robert said. “It’s nice that there were people there that were able to help. The first outcome that we want is for him to be OK and safe.

"It was an oversight that we learned a lot from,” he added.

Source: USA Today, Salt Lake Tribune
Photo: KUTV

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