INDIANAPOLIS (February 24, 2015) - Indianapolis Metropolitan police and the Department of Child Services are investigating after a 5-year-old boy was found locked outside a house wearing no coat or shoes.
Officers were called to the house on the near east side around 5:45 Monday night after getting a call about the child being locked outside while his mother slept inside. When police arrived at the home, the boy was walking around in 13-degree temperatures, with a -2 degree wind chill.
"(It) raised some red flags as to the situation," Ofc. Rafael Diaz with IMPD said.
Diaz said the situation started innocently enough.
"The child was locked out by a younger brother, which I think could happen to anyone," Diaz said.
Except that not only was not one watching, but according to the report an officer "...began knocking on the door but was not getting an answer. (He) walked around to the back door and knocked ... (his) concern grew as nobody was answering the doors even though he was knocking very loudly."
That's when the officer looked through the front blinds and saw the boy's mother lying on the couch about 10 feet away from the front door where the officer was banging.
He was finally able to wake her up and according to the report "when she opened the door, (the officer) could smell the odor of marijuana." He later found out that because of another child services case, both kids should not have been in their mother's care, but instead in the care of a family member.
"It’s a dangerous situation for the kids to be around, which is why they weren’t supposed to be around it in the first place," Diaz said.
On top of it all was the weather conditions. Dr. Joe Krug, with St. Vincent, said that the cold can be even more dangerous for kids whose bodies respond differently and who don't know how it's affecting them.
"Number one, make sure they’re dressed appropriately. Number two, make sure you’re keeping a reasonable eye on them," Krug said.
IMPD echoed that warning, hoping this case could be a wake up call to other parents.
"It’s important to know where your kids are at, especially with the conditions the way that they are the last few days," Diaz said.
DCS removed the children from the home, and IMPD removed the marijuana.
No arrests have been made at this time.