Mother of lost toddler sought

Boy about age 3 found wandering on street in East Baltimore

July 24, 1999|By Eric Siegel | Eric Siegel,SUN STAFF

Authorities are asking the public for help in identifying a boy found Thursday afternoon wandering alone on an East Baltimore street and believed to be about age 3.

The department is asking anyone who knows the child or where he lives to call 410-361-2235.

As of late yesterday afternoon, no one had reported missing the boy, who told social service workers that his name is "Man-Man" and whose mother's first name is thought to be "Yvette."

"He seems to be healthy and well-cared-for," said Sue Fitzsimmons, spokeswoman for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. "We'd like to find out who this child is."

The boy was placed in foster care Thursday evening after being examined by doctors at University Hospital and is likely to remain there until police and social service workers find who his parents or guardians are and why he was left unattended, Fitzsimmons said.

`He's real smart'

Yesterday afternoon, the child -- dressed in the dark blue T-shirt, cut-off light blue overalls and Reeboks he was wearing when he was found -- was reunited briefly with the police officer who took the boy on a futile two-hour search for his mother.

"Where's your flashlight?" the boy asked Officer Joseph M. O'Neill Jr.

O'Neill exchanged high-fives with the child before handing him his flashlight and handcuffs to play with at social services' intake and assessment center in the 1900 block of N. Howard St.

"We went through this [Thursday]," said O'Neill with obvious affection. "He's real smart and a sweetheart of a kid."

Alone on street

A couple saw the child, whom they recognized, wandering alone Thursday afternoon in the 1200 block of E. Biddle St., O'Neill said.

They took the child to a McDonald's on North Avenue, where the man watched him while the woman returned to East Biddle Street to search for the mother, O'Neill said.

When the woman couldn't locate the mother, whom she knew by sight and whose name she knew only as "Yvette," the couple called the police, the officer said.

Drove child around

O'Neill, 31, a six-year police officer who had just started work on the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift, responded to the call. He got a safety seat and drove the child around nearby East Baltimore neighborhoods in his patrol car trying to find the mother.

When he could not locate her, O'Neill took the child to social services.

"He didn't cry once until I left," said O'Neill, adding that there was no indication that the boy had been abducted.

While the child played with blocks, toy cooking utensils and the microphones and television cameras that came to broadcast his picture, Fitzsimmons had some words of advice for parents and guardians.

"Make sure children know their complete name and address as soon as possible," she said.

Pub Date: 7/24/99

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