Day care mix up: Toddler left with strangers

Update, THU 10:45 AM: We're learning more about how the toddler who was dropped off at the wrong home and left with strangers.

Turns out the little boy's day care is to blame for the entire mistake. The owner of the Learning Tree Academy admits to Fox 29 she is the one who made the mistake.

A 2 year old was left at Randall Hudson's home in Fort Pierce Tuesday. The sheriff's department originally believed the grandchild had dropped off the child, but she called police to identify the child. "I was very upset when I heard that the grandmother dropped him off because, I knew, I was at work, and I didn't know anything about it. I was like, wait a minute, what happened?"

The Department of Children and Families was at the day care Wednesday and cleared the owner of any wrongdoing.

Update, WED 2:30 PM: A 2-year-old boy who was dropped off at a stranger's house Tuesday in Fort Pierce, but a police issued press release unveils some interesting new details.

A woman left the little boy at a home at 5000 El Nueva Avenue.  The only problem was, no one at the home seemed to know who the child was.

"[The child] cried about 20 minutes," said Randale Hudson, who was home at the time. "I put him on the bed, told him to go to sleep, and that's what he did."

Hudson took the child in, presuming that some of his relatives who live at the home might know the child. When the other residents got home later in the day, no one recognized the boy, and so they called police.

Authorities searched missing children's reports and Amber alerts, but the child did not match any descriptions.


Date and Time: Wednesday, April 16, 2008, 10 a.m.

Headline: North-St. Lucie County two-year-old reunited with his parents after misunderstanding had him dropped off at wrong home Tuesday morning, Sheriff Mascara announces

The two-year-old boy whose identity was not known for several hours Tuesday is back with his parents in the north-St. Lucie County Sheraton Plaza neighborhood, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara said this morning

"This was a case of misunderstood directions by the daycare center worker who dropped him off at the wrong home Tuesday morning," said Sheriff Mascara. "Our investigation is over, and this was not a criminal matter. We're glad it was resolved quickly, and we thank all those members of the community, including family members, who called Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers in response to news media stories."

The Florida Department of Children and Families is looking into the circumstances of the boy's having been driven to the wrong home Tuesday after he became ill at his daycare center.

Sheriff Mascara said, "We were able to resolve this quickly Tuesday night because of the overwhelming response by members of the public, including some of the boy's relatives, to news media stories in which we asked for phone calls to Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers from anyone who could help us. Within two hours of the news media carrying the story, we had identified the boy and his grandmother."

Also, the Sheriff's Office used its "reverse 9-1-1" system to make automated phone calls to everyone in the Sheraton Plaza neighborhood late Tuesday afternoon. Sheriff Mascara said one of the calls went to the boy's father, who in turn called authorities.

Tuesday, it was thought the woman who dropped off the boy at the wrong home might have been his grandmother, but this was not the case.

"Here's what happened Tuesday," Sheriff Mascara said. "The boy became ill at his daycare center. Apparently daycare workers called the boy's mother who asked that he be taken home to his father. But the worker who drove the boy experienced an honest misunderstanding of the driving directions. This resulted in the woman dropping off the boy at a home several homes away from the intended destination".

Previously: Who is he? Where did he come from? Important questions after a 2 year old is given to strangers. The police are now hoping someone watching has some answers.

An unusual set of circumstances surround a young child who was dropped off at a stranger's house. Police in St. Lucie County are asking for your help.

He has a name and a home, but no one seems to know what they are.

"Who are they? They should've told me something - something to go on."

That's all Randale Hudson is hoping for. He tells police a woman knocked at the door of his Ft. Pierce home around 9:30 Tuesday morning with a 2-year-old boy.

The woman said: "She had too much to do", and left the child with Hudson.

"[He] cried about 20 minutes, and I told him put him on the bed, told him to go to sleep, and that's what he did."

Hudson cared for the child in his home presuming one of several relatives that live here might know the child. But when they came home, later on, they didn't.

They called authorities, who have searched Amber Alerts and missing children's cases. Nothing shows a match - painful, perplexing circumstances for this father and grandfather hoping to know eventually who this child belongs to.

"They haven't been back. That's the part that hurts."

Police describe the woman who dropped off the child as about 6 feet tall, 180-190 pounds and wearing a wig. If you know anything, call the Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-TIPS.