There have been multiple children found in Mesa County wandering the streets alone since Monday afternoon and officials say with summertime here they could see even more cases.
“Three cases in a 24 hour period does appear to be an anomaly however our case workers through child protective services do seem to see a spike in these kinds of cases during the summer months,” says Karen Martsolf with Mesa County Human Services.
Around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday a three year old boy was spotted running down North Ave. by himself, late Monday a four year old child was found alone near Fruita along a bridge over I-70, and Monday afternoon a father bringing in groceries from his car lost track of his child.
The Grand Junction Police Department says while these cases are serious, they realize that accidents happen, “If it's not something that is being done repeatedly and there aren't signs of abuse then the child is returned to the family,” says Kate Porras with the Grand Junction Police Department.
If a child is repeatedly found wandering alone a parent can face misdemeanor child abuse charges but again each case is judged separately.
If you see a child alone officials say to call 911 immediately and stay close to where you found them, that way officials can hopefully better determine where the child came from. The three children who were found wandering recently have since all been reunited to their families.