Toddler wanders away from home; mom charged with neglect

After 2 hours, Columbia County Sheriff's Office deputies find mother

LAKE CITY, Fla. - A Columbia County mother is facing criminal charges after her young son was found walking alone in a ditch Saturday morning.

A resident found the 2- to 3-year-old boy near the corner of NW Yates Loop and NW Ash Drive and called the Sheriff's Office.  The child told deputies his first name, but was not able to tell them where he lived.

Deputies went door-to-door in the neighborhood for about two hours before finding the child's mother, Mary Thomas, at a home on Nash Road.

Authorities suspect the child let himself outside and walked down a long driveway and down the street before he was spotted. 

Thomas was charged with neglect.  The Florida Department of Children and Families was also notified and is assisting in the investigation.

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