KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A 3-year-old child was found wandering near a busy intersection on the city's south side on Friday morning. Police on the scene told FOX 4 News it wasn't the first time it's happened either.
A driver on a busy roadway in the Ruskin Heights neighborhood says she got a shock when she saw that unsupervised toddler trying to cross Longview Road near the Food Lane intersection. The driver says the child was merely footsteps from walking into traffic.
Jayvin Carter, 3, might be gone if not for the kindness of a stranger, who identified herself as Miss Poodie.
"I saw a child about to cross the street," Miss Poodie told FOX 4 News photojournalist Pat Holloway.
"You got all these kids dying nowadays or getting snatched by who or whatever. That's not right," she said.
Miss Poodie says she also lives in the Ruskin Heights area, and was driving to a local grocery store when she and her fiancee saw a series of older kids crossing Longview Road. She realized Jayvin wasn't with the other kids.
"I asked him if he knew his name, and he just looked at me. I asked him if he knew where he stayed and he didn't know, so I picked him up and brought him over here," Miss Poodie commented.
Kansas City police officers took the toddler into custody, handing him over to a worker from the Missouri Department of Social Services. A woman who police identified as Carter's grandmother asked officers why Carter was being taken away. Police on the scene told FOX 4 News that officers were also in the neighborhood on Thursday, rescuing the child from traffic on that occasion on that day too.
"I hope the police finds him a safe place to stay. I don't know what's going on in his home, but for a 2-year-old (sic) to get up and walk out of the house when he wants to, that's not safe," Miss Poodie said.
That worker from Missouri Social Services could be seen returning the child to the grandmother's apartment. Rebecca Woelfel, a spokesperson for that agency, told FOX 4 News all investigations involving child protection are kept confidential. Family members refused to answer questions when approached at the apartment door.
"Not even 24 hours later, he's back out here," Miss Poodie said. "When I heard it, I was appalled. I didn't have no words. They said this isn't the second time. This is several times the police have been called. That doesn't make any sense."