A woman in Maitland, Florida, was arrested after letting her 6-year-old son trick-or-treat alone last week, the Orlando Sentinel reported. He was found by a man and woman late Halloween night “lost and dehydrated,” police said.
According to an arrest report, Jessica Anne King, 38, told police she was sick, which is why she let her son go out alone on Halloween night. King was arrested on a charge of child neglect and booked into the Orange County Jail. She has since been released after posting bail.
The young boy was found around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night dressed as an astronaut and “wandering alone” alone about half a mile from his home on Nicoma Trail, the arrest report said. He knew the address to his house but did not know how to get there.
He told the adults that found him he had been out alone “since the sun was out” and that his mom was at home resting. They brought the boy home, but not before stopping at another house to get a bottle of water after the boy complained of being thirsty, which he “immediately chugged.”
Upon returning him to his house, the adults questioned the boy’s mother, who, according to the arrest report, “seemed unfazed by her child being alone.” That was when the pair called police, who also questioned King.
King told an officer that her son had been instructed to be home by 8 p.m. that night, but also acknowledged he did not have a watch or phone to keep track of time or call if he needed anything. She had been sleeping at the time the boy was due home, not realizing that he had not made it back.
Officers asked her whether or not she thought it was a good idea for someone of her son’s age to be out without supervision or a means of calling for help, to which she replied that she “guessed not.”
A woman who asked not to be identified told WFTV she had met the young boy while she was out trick-or-treating with her own children.
“He was in fact alone, and he asked that we help him find his parents,” the woman said. “It was definitely concerning to me. It was dark. He was pretty far from home.”
According to the arrest report, the boy was turned over to the care of a neighbor at the request of King’s family. Law enforcement officials have also notified the Florida Department of Children and Families of the incident.