IOLA, Kan. -- A father is in jail in Allen County, Kansas after the sheriff says he locked his 4-year-old son in a bedroom alone and went to work.
"This is my 28th year in law enforcement, 25 of those years here, we have never come across any kind of situation like this," said Bryan Murphy, the Allen County sheriff.
Blayke Anthony Reynolds faces felony charges for leaving his child home alone. The sheriff says deputies found the boy locked in a bedroom of a house just outside the city limits, with no food and no access to a bathroom.
Murphy says Reynolds has temporary visitation rights to see the boy, but the father told deputies he could not afford child care for his son.
A neighbor saw the boy banging on a bedroom window and calling for help at about 5 p.m. Deputies say when they broke into the locked bedroom, the room reeked of urine and there was human feces inside.
"I can’t imagine it," Murphy said. "I have a 6-year-old at home. I can’t even fathom that thought of putting my child in a room with no access to water, no access to utilities for any period of time. Let alone leave him alone in an empty house and driving an hour-and-a-half to work. Working an entire shift, I cannot even fathom that."
Murphy says Reynolds worked in Lacyne, Kan., about an hour-and-a-half's drive away. His shift was from 3 p.m. to midnight. He's accused of knowingly leaving his son for what would have been about 12 hours.
The sheriff praised the neighbor for calling 911 when the situation didn't seem right.
Murphy says Reynolds has been charged with three felonies, including aggravated child endangerment. Deputies are investigating reports that this may not have been the first time the boy was locked in the room and left alone.