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Unattended Carthage child gets lots of attention

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CARTHAGE — Facebook was atwitter with concerned people trying to locate the parents of a wandering child Sunday afternoon.

About 3 p.m., a girl of about 3 with shoulder-length light brown hair, wearing a T-shirt and jeans, wandered into the yard of Sandra McCreadie, 613 Alexandria St.

“I was outside doing yard work and I heard someone asking, ‘Where’s your daddy?’” Mrs. McCreadie said. A friend of hers was talking to the little girl.

The women asked the child where her parents were and she responded, “Daddy’s gone,” and “Mommy baby.”

Mrs. McCreadie called 911 and allowed the girl to play with her granddaughters’ toys while they waited for police to arrive.

“She showed no fear — not to me, my husband or our dogs,” Mrs. McCreadie said. She said state troopers took the child door to door around the neighborhood, but no one recognized her.

“It broke my heart — she’s such a cute little thing,” Mrs. McCreadie said.

The child was taken to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department’s satellite office in West Carthage, where Court Clerk Margaret G. Cleland was working. Ms. Cleland helped care for the child while the search continued. Someone posted the girl’s picture on the West Carthage Fire Department’s Facebook page.

Just after 7:30 p.m., the Sheriff’s Department reported a parent was found with the help of state police, Carthage and West Carthage police and Jefferson County Child Protective Services.

According to Ms. Cleland, the child’s baby sitter saw a Facebook account of the unattended child and informed the father.

“It broke my heart,” Mrs. McCreadie said. “How could someone not know their child was missing for five hours?”

Monday morning, a 31-year-old man identified only as Sephiroth on his driver’s license was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Police said the man is believed to be a Carthage resident. A Jefferson County dispatcher could not confirm that Sephiroth was the child’s father. He was arraigned and sent to the Metro-Jeff Public Safety Building, Watertown, on $500 bail.

The child was turned over to Jefferson County Child Protective Services.

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