Wandering toddler on cart path leads to arrest

Wed, 06/13/2007 - 3:34pm
By: John Munford

Official: Dad failed to call police after son went missing

A Peachtree City man was arrested by police today after his 2-year-old son was found unattended on a cart path nearly a quarter-mile away from their home by a woman driving in her golf cart, police said.

The incident led police and a child protection caseworker to the family’s home, which had animal feces and trash throughout, police said.

Edwin Smith, 32, of Morgan’s Turn was arrested and charged with reckless conduct. The 2-year-old and a 4-year-old child also living at the residence were taken into protective custody by DFCS, police said.

The child had been missing for roughly 40 minutes and was wearing only a diaper, covered in mud, when he was spotted by a citizen shortly before 11:30 a.m., said Police Chief James Murray. The child also had numerous scratches, likely from where he walked through the woods to the point where a concerned citizen found him on the cart path, Murray said.

The woman then took him in her golf cart to a nearby fire station after which police were notified.

Smith had told police that the child wandered away while he was doing laundry, Murray said.

“There was no evidence he had been doing any laundry,” Murray said.

During the entire time the child was missing, Smith did not call police to report the incident, Murray added.

Murray said the child was found on a cart path near the intersection of Ga. Highway 54 and Peachtree Parkway, which are both very busy roads. Fortunately the Good Samaritan found him before he got that far, Murray added.

“The lady did a great job getting him to a fire station,” Murray said, noting the importance of having fire stations nearby for just such occasions.

Ironically when the child disappeared, the mother was in Fayetteville seeking DFCS assistance, police said. When officers responded to the fire station, they had the Good Samaritan drive back to the area where she found the child so they could attempt to identify the child’s parents, Murray said.

In the end it was a neighbor in the area who recognized the child and led police to the house, Murray said.

The mother, identified by police as Cynthia Wood, was not arrested immediately, police said. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, Murray said.

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wulfman's picture
Submitted by wulfman on Sat, 08/04/2007 - 7:51pm.

Anyone know if the father got any jail time?

Wonder if they got the children back?

Submitted by bladderq on Sat, 08/04/2007 - 11:02pm.

It took you 2 mos to come on this public forum to find out about this kid?
Do you think the kid would be better off w/ his father in jail & the child in DFACS custody? Why didn't you rush right over in June and offer to be the foster parent?

Sorry, I believe that you are the same kinda person against abortion that has never adopted a child.

Step UP or Sit dwn & SHUT UP.

wulfman's picture
Submitted by wulfman on Sun, 08/05/2007 - 7:37am.


For your information I am new to the city and didn't live here a couple of months ago.

You seem to be able to read a person's mind and form an opinion of someone from two questions.

If the child was living in the conditions that were reported and two other children had been taken away from the mother.

Yes, someone should serve jail time and the child needs to be placed with a relative if possible.

The child wandering the cart path was bad enough but living in the reported filth is too much.

Looking back through the blogs for this case I noticed you didn't step up to the plate and rush over and volunteer to be the foster parent. Maybe you need to follow you own advise.

Mixer's picture
Submitted by Mixer on Wed, 06/13/2007 - 4:56pm.

How sad is this? Welcome to the new PTC and Fayette County. Good job by the 'Good Samaritan'.

If WWII had been covered by the Modern Media: Great Video

Submitted by rick7069 on Fri, 06/15/2007 - 1:03pm.

I don't know. I do know the propensity for newspapers and police to sensationalize. From all accounts of reading the story, it sounds to me as if everyone did good work. However, I have seen before where two dog craps behind couches that people didn't know about and a trash bag that hasn't made it to the dumpster yet turned into feces and trash throughout in order to make the story more exciting. Of course, maybe there really was feces and trash throughout, I just hate to judge at the word of a newspaper that makes money sensationalizing. I can speak from experience many years ago when my three year old was brought back home by a neighbor. She had been missing for about ten minutes and I didn't even know it. I mean, it's hard to keep your eye on a child every second, they can get away from you. Of course that was only about ten minutes while this was forty.
All I'm saying is that I would need more facts before slamming someone.

poipendicular's picture
Submitted by poipendicular on Fri, 06/15/2007 - 12:37pm.

Who are the landlords renting to these people? There should be more to the application process than just initial deposit and monthly rents. We choose to live in PTC for a certain lifestyle. Education and morality is an important factor in this town. Why choose to live in PTC when you can live in Riverdale and continue in your lax ways. We as a whole should demand more out of the residents in our town. Clean your yards up, if you can't water, at least mow down the weeds, and clean up debris. Make an effort with the children don't let them drain the life out of our teachers. I don't understand how these people can live in such disarray. Doesn't matter if you own or rent it's where you sleep and eat.

Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Fri, 06/15/2007 - 12:42pm.

IF so, it would be very easy to look up the owners of the property.

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