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Child found wandering neighborhood wearing only a t-shirt

Updated: Tuesday, July 23 2013, 06:53 PM EDT

By Jon Rudder
HANCOCK COUNTY, W.Va - A toddler was found wandering the streets of a neighborhood in Newell. Tuesday, tonight NEWS9 spoke with the woman who found that child.

Tracie Rowand was at home when she heard a knock at the door. She assumed it was a neighborhood child there to play with her daughter, but she never thought it would be a 2-year-old boy, barefoot and only wearing a T-shirt.

"I heard pounding on my door and I thought it was kids for my daughter," Rowand said. "I happened to look out and see a little boy and I didn't see anybody with him."

A neighbor called police and two officers responded, along with Child Protection Services. Police said the mother is a juvenile and the child is now with it's grandmother.

"It's scary, it's very scary nowadays,"  Rowand said. "I mean, I could have looked out and seen a baby on the ground, ran over by a car. It was petrifying."

Rowand was in disbelief, and feared for the child's safety and that's why she brought the child into her home until police arrived and determined what to do.

"He was as smiling and wanting balls and playing with balls and the dogs and the cats," Rowand said. "But I couldn't get anything out of him but 'cat' or 'ball,' things like that."

With a child of her own, Rowand couldn't imagine them walking barefoot alone along the street and around the neighborhood.

"It's incredible to see a kid out walking and no one out looking for him," Rowand said. "That's what scared me the most. You figure if your kid is missing, you'd be out looking or seeing if someone had him or something. Not a soul out."

Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher said that they are investigating this incident and the mother of the child could possibly face charges both from the Prosecutors Office and Child Protection Services.

Child found wandering neighborhood wearing only a t-shirt


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