Local News

Cumberland Toddler OK After Wandering Away From Home

Posted February 28, 2006

— A 3-year-old is safe at home after wandering from home, through traffic, and into a dangerous place. Fortunately, someone spotted him. But, the real question surrounds his parents. They didn't report him missing for hours, and that could mean charges.

Cumberland County deputies say Leviticus McDaniel ended up in a business parking lot. Trucks come and go often there, and it's hard to see a little boy between all the tires.

A worker, Doug Dees, saw McDaniel and got help before anything bad happened.

"I just, I hate, you know," said Dees. "I dread the thought of what could have happened, so just glad to know he's alright."

But, the boy's journey didn't end there. Deputies brought him back to the sheriff's office and figured out his name. Then, they waited until his parents finally called, looking for him.

By the time they picked him up, they had been apart for more than six hours. That makes detectives suspicious.

"There is something to be said about a child left on his own or her own for six hours and nobody knows where he or she is, and we're talking about a 3-year-old child," said sheriff's office spokeswoman Debbie Tanna.

Detectives said McDaniel's father told them he fell asleep and didn't realize his son walked off. They sent McDaniel home with his grandmother and are considering charging his parents, Anthony McDaniel and Juanda Carter, with misdemeanor neglect.

Carter told WRAL she didn't do anything wrong, and she's relieved her son is safe.

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