It’s a parent’s nightmare – to wake up, find a policeman standing over your bed and learn that your 3-year-old was found running down the road.
That was the scene Tuesday morning described in an incident report released by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.
A bus driver for the Lexington County Recreation and Aging Commission reported to deputies that she had found a 3-year-old running down the road while making her morning bus run. She pulled over, called to the girl, put her on the bus and waited for authorities to arrive.
The sheriff’s department did not charge anyone with a crime and so is not naming the road or the family members. Capt. John Allard did say the home was near Lexington.
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A Lexington County deputy dispatched to the scene took a picture of the toddler, who appeared in good health and uninjured, and started looking for her home. After finding the front door open at a house four or five doors away, the deputy peered in some of the windows, identified toys consistent with a toddler and saw water running in the kitchen.
He knocked, got no response, entered though the open door and found two adults – a 56-year-old female and 41-year-old man – waking up in the master bedroom, the report said.
The adults appeared genuinely horrified and emotionally overwrought to find out what had happened, the officer wrote.
He confronted the couple about dog feces on the floor throughout the house and the home’s general disorder. The two promised to clean the house and said they would get rid of their two dogs because they had proven too much to handle.
The department notified the state Department of Social Services, which said it did not have a history with the family, according to the report.