HAMILTON CITY, Calif. - A 3-year-old boy was found wandering around by himself in Hamilton City Tuesday afternoon and the Glenn County Sheriff's Office said this is not the first time.
It is difficult to imagine that a family would let a three-year-old wander the streets by himself but one neighbor said with this child, it has happened all too often.
"I personally have taken the child home on three different occasions," said the neighbor, who wanted to remain anonymous.
The most recent time the neighbor said she saw the child wandering alone was two weeks ago.
"He was walking down the alley by himself and no one thought to stop because no one knew who he was. I did, and I returned to his mother. Anything could have happened to him. It's very irresponsible!" she said.
The Glenn County Sheriff's Office agrees. Deputies got a call Tuesday afternoon from the principal of Hamilton Elementary saying a 3-year-old boy was wandering around by himself.
"The child was wearing shorts and a diaper," said Undersheriff Rich Warren.
Investigators say the boy was unsupervised and looking for his sibling at the school. Then they found out this happened again in October of 2012.
"We had another report of that same child wondering around several blocks from its home," said Undersheriff Warren.
Once deputies made that connection, they took the child into protective custody. They say his mother was at an appointment in Chico at the time and the family member watching him didn't even know he was gone.
As for the neighbor, she says she has a child the same age, and can't understand how this could happen.
"When I don't see my son close nearby I panic! I start yelling for him," she said.
No charges have been filed in this case. The Glenn County District Attorney's Office said they have not yet gotten a report from the sheriff's office.