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Deputies: Boy in diaper found wandering street, mom charged

2-year-old found in near-freezing temperatures, deputies say

LAKE CITY, Fla. – A woman was arrested after a driver called deputies when she noticed a 2-year-old boy wandering a street wearing a shirt and diaper in near-freezing temperatures, according to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

On Saturday morning, deputies spoke with Twila Hewlett, who said she stopped the child when she noticed him walking near the intersection of SW Birley Avenue and U.S. Highway 90, the arrest report read. The responding deputy noted that it was 35 degrees outside.

“I just slowed down really quick, and I was trying to talk to him. Then I saw a truck coming from the opposite direction. So, I turned my car around to go the other way and I snatched him up," Hewlett said. "I was afraid the truck was going to hit him."

The deputy determined the boy was about a half mile away from his home, and the 2-year-old was taken to the hospital for treatment, the report said.

When an investigator arrived at the child's home on SW Sleepy Glen, an 11-year-old boy answered the door, according to the Sheriff's Office. He told the deputy his mother left the house while it was still dark, and he didn't know when she would return.

According to the report, the 11-year-old was unaware that his brother, who was determined to be the 2-year-old, got out of the house. The deputy reached the mother by phone.

The mother told the Sheriff's Office she was dealing with a personal matter and was about to head home when she realized she had a flat tire, the report said. That's when she got the phone call about her 2-year-old getting rushed to the hospital.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the two children were released to their grandmother. The children's mother, identified as Tiffany Kimi Smith, 34, was charged with child neglect and jailed on a $50,000 bond.


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