Good Samaritan locates missing 6-year old; babysitter charged with child abuse and neglect
HARRISON, Tennessee (WDEF) – A good Samaritan found a small boy wandering along highway 58 by himself and now the person who was supposed to be watching the boy is facing a charge of child abuse and neglect.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by News 12, the investigation into Frederick Vanarsdale, 50, of Harrison began when a motorist spotted a small 6-year old child walking along Southbound Highway 58 near Jewel Road.
The child was reportedly alone.
The female motorist asked the boy where he was going and he reportedly told the woman he was going to mothers work because Frederick locked him out of the house.
The woman took the child to a nearby fire station where authorities were called.
According to Investigators, an hour after the boy was picked up, detectives were finally able to locate the home where the boy lived. When they spoke to Vanarsdale, he reportedly said he was watching the child for a friend. According to investigators, Vanarsdale said he let the boy outside to play around 4pm, but didn’t notice the child was missing until an hour and a half later.
Vanarsdale also reportedly told detectives he didn’t think to call 911 when he realized he couldn’t find the boy.
A close neighbor who asked not to be identified told News 12 the small child has often been seen in the streets by himself.
“We would ask him where was his mother and he would say I don’t know. We would ask him where is Frederick and he would say I don’t know. It was just a shame,” the neighbor said.
The neighbor also told News 12 that he and his wife along with other neighbors have always worried about the child’s welfare.
“He’d come up here hungry and we would feed him. The neighbor downstairs would feed him all the time. He was starving for attention. Now we’re happy the situation has been taken care of,” he said.
Vanarsdale was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect.
Meanwhile the neighbor believes the boy was very lucky that a good Samaritan picked him up.
“I’m gracious that the woman did what she did and done what she done. It was a blessing,” he said.
Vanarsdale’s bond was set at $30,000 and his next court date is September 13.
It’s unclear if the boy was returned to his mother or is still in protective custody.