Hollywood cops spent much of Sunday trying to find the parents of a 3-year-old boy whom a man found wandering around on the street.
At least 4.5 hours later, the boy's aunt called the cops to report him missing, and child welfare investigators decided it was safe for the boy to go back home.
It was eventually discovered that when the man found the boy jaunting around Hollywood at 9 a.m., he'd already made it a mile and a half from his mother's apartment.
The boy's mother left for work around 7 a.m. Sunday and left the boy in the "care" of her older sister and aunt.
Hollywood cops sent out a picture of the boy, wearing a blue and yellow polo shirt and smiling during his visit to the police station. He was then turned over to child protective services until they found out what was going on.
Around 2 p.m., the mother finally called the cops to report the little boy missing.
A spokesman for the Department of Children & Families told the Sun-Sentinel the aunt had "panicked" and tried to find the boy without help from authorities.
The cops and Department of Children & Families reportedly went to the house Sunday night and deemed it safe for the boy to return to his mother.
The paper says caseworkers "are helping the family with a better supervision plan."
By "better," we hope they mean not letting a 3-year-old roam the streets of Hollywood by himself for hours on end.
The cops haven't said exactly how the kid managed to escape the grip of his mom's aunt, but as of yet, police and child protective services haven't officially determined that any neglect of the kid was taking place.
Cops are still investigating the case and haven't decided whether to criminally charge anyone, Hollywood Police spokesman Lt. Norris Redding told the Sun-Sentinel yesterday.
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