SUMTER, SC (WIS) - A Sumter man found a 1-year-old boy crying in his yard Thursday. Hours later, after police spend the afternoon canvassing the area for the boy's parents, his mother showed up to claim him.
Now the boy is in custody of the Department of Social Services, and the mother is in custody of the police.
A man living on Branch Street found 1-year-old Asaad Toney in his backyard at around 1:00pm Thursday and called 911. Police are still investigating how little Asaad ended up in the yard.
"The child, when located in the gentleman's backyard was crying, wandering about in the backyard," said Sumter Police Chief Patty Patterson.
Police say the mother, Taccara King, showed up at the police station Thursday evening after the story was reported on WIStv.com.
"From what she's saying, that she thought the child was with the father," said Patterson. "So that's where she left the child."
Police say her story kept changing throughout the night. Police have now determined King neglected the child, and they arrested her.
Here's what police believe really happened:
At around noon, King and her friend wanted to do a day trip in Florence, so they drove across town to drop Asaad off with his father near Branch Street. The father refused to take Asaad, and walked away.
Police say King left Asaad on the sidewalk, expecting the father to come back to get him, and drove off. King's friend encouraged her to go back and pick the kid up, but King decided not to. Left by himself, Asaad wandered into the stranger's backyard where he was found.
"The child is safe, the child is secure," Patterson said. "Does not appear to be harmed in any way."
Asaad will spend the night with DSS. Police are still trying to locate the father, John Derrick Toney, "and find out what happened to cause the child to not be with him," Patterson said.
The man who found Asaad in his yard did not want to talk on camera, but said he's glad the boy is safe.