Mom arrested after police find toddler walking to Williamsburg Walmart

Barbara Vanderpool
Barbara Vanderpool(WKYT)
Published: May. 18, 2017 at 4:07 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Police arrested a southern Kentucky woman who they say put her child in harm's way.

Drivers in Williamsburg found a 4-year-old boy walking along US Highway 25 Around 6 p.m. Wednesday evening.

"There's a little boy on Town Hill in Williamsburg, by that restaurant on Hill Top? By himself and he can't be three year[s] old," said one caller to 911.

A few minutes later, another driver saw the boy and stopped. That woman told the dispatcher the boy was on an excursion.

The dispatcher asked, "Can he talk?" The caller replied, "Yeah. He said his mamaw said he could walk to Walmart. And he's trying to show where he lives."

Police say the child's mother, Barbara Vanderpool, left the child in the care of her elderly mother who wasn't capable of caring for the boy.

"There's nobody in their right mind that would let their 4-year-old child walk to Walmart, which is about 3 miles away," said Detective Bobby Freeman with the Williamsburg Police Department.

Police say this isn't the first time this has happened. They say they had gotten calls three times over the past several months about this same child wandering away from his home.

"Always walking around, either half-dressed or no clothes. And always on the road. Always by himself," said Det. Freeman.

Police arrested Vanderpool and charged her with endangering the welfare of a minor.

"The last time I dealt with him, myself and other officers, he was only in a diaper. And it was in March ..." Det. Freeman said.

Police say in all of those cases they contacted social services, which they will likely do again.

Police say the area where witnesses found the boy was a quarter mile from his home, but three miles from Walmart where he said he was going.