College Park police said a babysitter made a false call to 911 to report that a homeless man had found a toddler alone at a gas station, apparently because she did not want to keep the 2-year-old.
“We’ve never found a homeless man or anyone who saw a homeless man,” Sgt. Jeff Hightower with the College Park Police Department, said Wednesday.
Now police are looking for the 17-year-old girl who made the call, he said.
Last week, there was a call to 911 by the teenager who claimed a homeless man had flagged her down and said he found the little boy alone and wandering behind a gas station on Old National Highway. The girl told police she had taken the child to a nearby Waffle House to eat until officers arrived.
But, Hightower said, the teenager’s story did not mesh with surveillance video or the details of the man who was watching the boy until he called a babysitter so he could go to work. The mother, Destiny Walker, allegedly asked a male friend, whose name was not released, to keep her son while she looked for a job, Hightower said.
And when it came time for him to go to work, he paid the 17-year-old girl to watch the child, Hightower said.
“The boyfriend’s story jibed with everything,” Hightower said. “He said the mother left the baby with him and he paid the babysitter while he went to work. We believe she either couldn’t or didn’t want to keep the child and couldn’t get in touch with the mother.”
Hightower said calling 911 would ensure the boy would be safe.
A recording from a surveillance camera showed the 2-year-old boy with his mother’s boyfriend near a Valero gas station at about 5:30 a.m. last Thursday. He met the teenage girl at a nearby Waffle House, Hightower said.
“The child was not alone at any time,” Hightower said.
The boy remains in the custody of the Department of Family and Children Services, police said.
Police just want to talk to the teenager, whom they have been unable to find. Hightower said her phone number has been disconnected and she is not going to the areas she is known to frequent.
DFCS is investigating the mother, Hightower said. Police will consider that agency’s findings in deciding if any charges will be brought.
“Right now it doesn’t look like the mother or the boyfriend will be charged,” Hightower said.
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