Two Louisiana parents are facing charges after police say their unsupervised infant son wandered into some nearby woods, igniting a massive search.
This wasn’t the first time the toddler had to be rescued. Police say it was actually his third time — in a single week.
According to KATC, police launched a search for 3-year-old Sheldon Baker on Friday, after his parents told authorities he’d vanished from their home in Albany, Louisiana.
The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office posted a photo of the missing boy to Facebook, prompting some local residents to join the search.
Soon enough, people were looking for the missing boy on horseback, and a helicopter was even brought in to help, Local 33 reported.
Tanya Bankston, a volunteer, told Local 33 that she decided to join after seeing the Facebook post. And five hours after little Sheldon disappeared, she found him in the woods.
Bankston said the terrified toddler wasn’t dressed for the weather. But he was ready to go home:
He was freezing cold and said he wanted to go home and he was hungry…He was scared as his feet were blood red swollen… he had on shorts and a T-shirt and no shoes on.
Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard later confirmed that this was the third time this week the toddler had gone missing from his home.
The boy’s parents, Sylvia and Shane Baker, needed help locating him. Sheriff Ard told KATC:
Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office
One time, he was found at a neighbor’s home. Just last night, he was found in the wooded area surrounding the home. Then today, he was found by a citizen working with the LPSO about a mile from his home. He was cold, scared and scratched up.
Following Sheldon’s third disappearance, his parents were charged with desertion for their negligence. They were also brought up on drug charges, though it remains unclear if drugs caused the lapses in his supervision.
Sheldon was treated at a local hospital after he was found and is now in the custody of the state, WDSU reported.
Watch Local 33’s coverage below: