Toddler slips out of Royal Palm foster home

Posted at 5:32 PM, Feb 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-02 18:55:37-05

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is investigating after a two-and-a-half-year old foster child was found in a stranger's empty vehicle in Royal Palm Beach early Saturday morning.

Neighbor's say the child managed to slip out of the foster home after midnight and spent almost an hour wandering the neighborhood.

The toddler is seen on surveillance video going into different people’s yards and walking close to a nearby lake.

He walks into the road and then climbs into a vehicle about 8 houses from his home.

"We immediately called the police and we went to go grab a blanket because he had nothing on but his shirt and diaper," Erica Exantus said.

Exantus found the toddler when she went out to her car around 2 a.m. Saturday.

"I said, ‘Hi what is your name?’ And he didn't say anything. I said, ‘Tell me how old you are?’ He didn't say anything. 'Want to show me where you live?' He didn't respond," Exantus said.

Deputies responded and went door to door with the child's pictures trying to locate the parents.

An ambulance also responded because Exantus said the toddler was shivering and cold because he wasn't clothed.

Deputies eventually located the foster parents. Investigators say they are consulting with the State Attorney's office about whether to file charges.

A spokeswoman with the Department of Children and Families says they are investigating, but she says the toddler was not removed from the home.

A woman who answered the door at the residence on Tuesday said she did not wish to comment because of the ongoing investigation.

"What I am most upset about is they never came here after to say thank you for finding him. Something could have happened," Exantus said.