Mother arrested after boy, 4, found wandering alone on highway

ELGIN, S.C. -- The mother of a 4-year-old boy found wandering alone on a highway in South Carolina has been arrested.

Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews tells local media 23-year-old Taquanna Thomas was arrested Monday and charged with unlawful neglect of a child.

Matthews says a driver saw the child about 11 p.m. Sunday walking alone on U.S. 1 in Elgin. The boy was later found by an off-duty law enforcement officer. The officer said the child knocked on his door and said he couldn’t find his parents, reports CBS affiliate WLTX.

The officer called 911.

Deputies found that Thomas was at a fire department trying to find her son. She says she was driving around trying to get her son to fall asleep, became sleepy herself, pulled off the road and fell asleep. She later woke up and found that her son was gone.

WLTX reports she told officers she first drove home to get her driver’s license, and then drove to the fire department. A deputy who responded to the station arrested her.

The boy is in the custody of the Department of Social Services.

It’s unclear if Thomas has an attorney.

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