A Florida mom let her 6-year-old son go trick-or-treating alone on Halloween and is now facing a criminal charge, WESH-TV reports.
Police arrested Jessica Anne King on a charge of child neglect stemming from the incident, which the 38-year-old said happened only because she was ill.
King and the boy live in Maitland, Florida, a suburb of Orlando. Two adults found the child, dressed as an astronaut, around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. He appeared to be lost about a half-mile from his home.
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The child told the adults, a man and a woman, that he had been outside alone “since the sun was out” and that his mother was “resting,” a police report states. The adults provided the child with a bottle of water, which he “immediately chugged” after saying he was thirsty, according to the report.
The boy apparently knew what his address was, but he did not know how to get back home.
The pair then brought the boy to his house and confronted the mother, who “seemed unfazed by her child being alone,” the report states. The couple then called police.
King told officers that the boy was supposed to return home by 8 p.m. and she did not realize he hadn’t done so because she was sleeping. She admitted that the boy did not have any way to tell time, such as a watch, or a phone to call if there were any problems, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
When asked whether it was a good idea to let a 6-year-old go trick-or-treating alone without a way contact a parent, King said she “guessed not,” the report states.
King has posted bond and was released from the Orange County Jail. She declined to comment when contacted by the newspaper. The state’s child welfare agency has opened an investigation into the incident.
Meanwhile, a neighbor has taken custody of the child, officials said.
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[Feature Photo: Jessica Anne King/Orange County Jail]