REDDING, Calif. (KRON) — Two Northern California parents were arrested on Father’s Day after their toddler was found running on a street alone wearing nothing but diapers.
The Redding Police Department said officers were alerted by good Samaritans that a 2-year-old boy was “running up and down” Churn Creek Road “wearing only a diaper and holding a bag of candy,” just before 6 a.m. Sunday.
One of the good Samaritans held the toddler until police arrived. Officers said the boy was shivering from the cold because of his “lack of clothing,” but otherwise appeared to be OK.
Police discovered that the toddler had wandered a quarter-mile away from his home on Bond Street in Redding, and his parents were “completely unaware” that their son was even missing.
Police identified the parents as Joshua Billing, 45, and Nicole Shreve, 38.
“Billing and Shreve were completely unaware that their two-year-old toddler was missing from the residence The investigation revealed several prior reports within the past year of the same unattended toddler being found wandering away from his residence under similar circumstances,” RPD wrote.
Officers said when they entered the toddler’s home to conduct a child welfare check, they discovered that the father, mother, and their four children were living in “deplorable” conditions.
“Officers found absolutely deplorable living conditions inside the residence. The floors and furniture were dirty and covered in food, and the home appeared to be infested with insects,” RPD wrote. Drug paraphernalia and firearms ammunition were also found inside the home, according to police.
The toddler’s 9-year-old brother was sleeping on a couch in the living room, while his 15-year-old brother and 12-year-old sister had spent the night at two other residences.
Police found the older siblings and all four children were immediately placed into temporary protective custody with the assistance of the Children’s Services Branch of Shasta County Health and Human Services.
Billing and Shreve were booked into the Shasta County Jail on felony child endangerment charges.