Teens arrested after toddler found wandering alone in Athens

WNYT Staff
Updated: December 30, 2019 07:02 PM
Created: December 30, 2019 01:16 PM

ATHENS - Police have made two arrests in the case of a toddler found wandering alone in Athens.

The two 18-year-olds, Nikko White and Andre White of Athens, are charged with endangering the welfare of a child -- a misdemeanor.  


Police say the teenagers were babysitting the little boy and did not even know the toddler was missing until a family in Athens found him on their doorstep Sunday morning. 

Kara Wager told NewsChannel 13 she first saw the boy when she was heading out to her car.  

"I opened up the front door and standing in front of me as I look down is this young boy. He's a young boy, he's wearing red-footed pajamas. He is caked in mud. He was very cold. I could tell because his hands were cherry red," she said. 

She immediately brought him in and called police. 

Later, she thought to check home surveillance video and saw he had been wandering around her property for at least a half hour. 

Wager, who is a mother and also a nurse, was happy that she found the boy when she did, especially given the cold and the terrain. 

"We have a dirt drive off of Farm Road and it's approximately about a mile in, up a very steep incline - and we're surrounded by about 88 acres of state forest up here," she said. 

Police say the two 18-year-olds that were arrested live about a tenth of a mile away on the same road. Authorities say the teens were babysitting while the boy's parents were at work. 

"For this little guy to come up this far was very frightening to me," said Wager. "And I don't know if it was a direct route. I don't know if he came directly from wherever he lives here or if he had been wandering for a considerable amount of time. I don't know."

Police say the boy's parents were notified and came home immediately. Child Protective Services was also notified.

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