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Update: Child left at Newport News playground now returned to mother; no charges filed

Posted on: 9:45 pm, December 27, 2013, by , updated on: 05:29pm, December 30, 2013

UPDATE: According to police, a miscommunication led to the 3-year-old being left behind at a park. Police say the grandfather took all of the family children to the playground to play. The older children assisted the grandfather in watching out for the younger children. When they gathered to return home, Maki was overlooked and left behind. The grandfather thought Maki was with the mother and the mother thought Maki was with the grandfather. 

Police say the child has now been returned to his mother by Child Protective Services. There are no charges filed. 

This investigation is ongoing. 

Newport News Police are looking for the guardians of a lost child who was found near the playground of Sedgefield Elementary School on Friday afternoon.

Police say at 3:50 p.m., a Newport News man and his daughter noticed the small child near the playground’s dumpster. They searched the area of the school with the child in attempt to find his parents but were unable to locate anyone responsible for him.

At 4:43 p.m., police were called. They responded and canvassed the surrounding neighborhoods but did not find the child’s guardians.

As a result, Child Protective Services responded and took custody of the child.

The child told police that his name is Malik and he is 3-years-old. He could not provide his parents names, address, or neighborhood.

There have been no reports of missing children in the cities of Newport News or Hampton.

Police are asking anyone who can identify this child to call police at 247-2500.

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18 comments

  • american infidel says:

    I was 4 and ‘wandered’ away several times. No charges were EVER filed because then, people had the common sense to know kids do that. I was once found walking down the rail tracks for the rail car going to the Carbide Plant (which shut down at 5 p.m….and I knew that). Some people just don’t understand a young one like that can be gone if you bend to tie your shoe.
    No charges should be filed against the family.
    That story sounds like the one about Jesus when his parents headed home after the holy day in Jerusalem. Mom thought He was with dad and dad thought He was with Mom. Today, Mary and Joseph would have been in jail charged with child endangerment and Jesus would have been in some trashy foster home!

  • Why do you say trashy foster home? I’ve been in a home that people who fostered many, many children over the years lived in and it was clean, well decorated and I’m sure it was nicer then where some of these poor kids come from. They were part of a Christmas tour many years ago. So you might not want to condemn those that help kids.

    • Nakia Knox says:

      You are exactly right!Many Foster Parents are wonderful people kind enough to open their homes and hearts to children in a bad place.I however question if this 3 year old is in a safe place! Yeah children get lost but 7 hours and as a mother you do not call to see if they returned safely or even had a good time at the park?I have 2 kids and even if they are with my spouse and I am away my mind always wonders if they made it back home! May not want to be to quick in returning this child to parents!

  • Myrtle Rountree says:

    I know this can happen. My grandson was left at church one Sunday. He rode to church with his grandpa and I joined later. His grandpa left church for home in his car thinking the child was riding with me. I left thinking the child was with him. Thank goodness we live less than a mile from the church. I went back and found him playing tag with some other children still at church. I am so thankful that this precious little boy was found by caring people who did the right thing, and he is ok. I am concerned that it took so long before the parents contacted police that he was missing.

    • J says:

      I agree with you, it was a small miracle that he was found by caring people who did the right thing. It only takes a moment for a small child to disappear and it happens all too often, and the final outcome is not always a good one.

  • J says:

    All petty bickering aside, this young child was separated from his family and the outcome could have been much worse, if he had been found by some pervert or pedophile, Lord knows there are enough of them on the streets today. With that being said, I do hope that Social Services and Child Protective Services conducts a thorough investigation to ensure that the child is being raised in a safe and loving environment.

  • Brenda Moye says:

    There is something strange when a child that age doesn’t know his parents name, his address or phone number. Why was the grandfather the person that contacted police instead of parents. If mental health issues are there closer attention should have been given to him. How many kids were with grandpa? There’s a limit to how many children a non guardian can be responsible for. CPS should require parenting class before he is returned to the guardian. During which time the guardian should have unlimited supervised visitation. Grandparents should not be responsible for raising grandchildren unless parents are deceased.

    • R. Wallace says:

      I was at a table having young teens fill out registration cards…you would not believe how many didn’t know how to fill out an information card. most did not know parents phone numbers or how to write Virginia as VA. kids do not know this information at 4 years of age. and now i believe most kids in their teens don’t know!

    • S Johnson says:

      I have to agree with majority of what you said. The child should of at least known his own name. And why does the grandfather have such a big responsibility? Where are ALL these kids parents? And they reported the mom wasn’t found until the next day? Is anyone wondering where the dad is? I mean there are so many questions here. The child and parents definitely need to be evaluated before getting custody back. They could be some underlying issues. Number one issue is the communication in this family is horrible.

  • J says:

    Brenda, obviously you are out of touch with today’s society. Grandparents should not be responsible for raising grandchildren unless parent’s are deceased? You must be kidding. If it were not for today’s grandparents, many of today’s children would be in foster care, abused, missing, or dead. The world is full of babies having babies, if the grandparents were not ready, willing, and able to step up to the plate and intervene, babies of today would be suffering a lot more at the hands of the “babies” giving birth to them. Wake up and smell the coffee…

  • Tamara Logan says:

    people always have something to say let’s be thankful that baby is safe you never know this can happen too you.you should be careful what you say about something you know little about.

  • T. says:

    @ Tamara, I would agree with you since everyone posting here except for the family of the young child was not there to witness what happened and doesn’t know the whole story. With that said, it doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re an adult and you are supervising young children in your care you should know EXACTLY how many you have with you at the time. He said he took the family children to the park with the older children looking out for the other children. That’s great, but before you leave wouldn’t it be a good thought to do a head count to who you have with you
    before and after your outing? Once again it looks like people are not taking the responsibility of their own actions and want to shift the blame on somebody else. That’s the direction of todays society. DON’T BLAME ME.
    @ american infidel, sounds like your parents were great role models.

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  • A lot isn’t said in the article. So far as the child not knowing his parents names, he is only 3, and we don’t know how good his speech is. We can assume he might have been a little afraid of the adults asking questions. There’s no mention of exactly how long it was before the mother and grandfather contacted police. I know that as a child, I got left behind at least once, (I’m one of 7) and the article doesn’t give a full tally of how many children were in the group. I know that each of my two children “escaped” on one or two occasions, (hey mall employees, when waiting for the parent to claim the child, do not give him or her a treat, you’ll see them again shortly). I believe I’m more concerned about the trauma of the child having to spend longer in a strange place than necessary than I would be if he were returned pending investigation. But really, I think most of us would have spent unnecessary time in foster care if the rules had been what they are today back in the day.

  • Lind says:

    My daughter is 3 and knows my name and her full name, she happens to know my phone number too. I understand knowing my phone number is a bonus.. But it’s apparent the child and parents don’t talk much. Sad, bound to happen again. How many kids did grandpa have!? Enough to forget one? Seriously people! Kids do wander in seconds but I guarantee you after the second is over id be a mess looking for my child….

  • glad the child is back at home. Deveopment differs, Lind. My 1st talked a storm at 11 months, 2nd hardly spoke at 3. They’re both brilliant.

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