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Father in custody after 4-year-old found wandering streets of Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A 4 year old boy was found wandering the streets of Grand Rapids early Friday morning, wearing nothing more than his pajamas, and now the boy's father is behind bars.

The boy was not wearing very much at all--police say his mother told them he was asleep when she left the house with another child for what was apparently some kind of medical emergency.

But when the boy woke up and found out he was alone, he took off.

It was a dark, cold morning, with temperatures hovering in the 20's.

That's why when a driver, Alicia Copeland, saw the boy wandering alone around 5 a.m., she called 9-1-1.

"I'm just totally shocked to hear that--it's freezing out here and nobody should be out here in the cold let alone a toddler," Copeland said.

Copeland says she can't imagine how that could happen.

"Why is they by theyself?" she asked. "Where is the supervision in all this? Its crazy, its just crazy."

Police say the boy's mother told them she had to take her other child to the hospital--so she left the 4-year-old home alone--knowing his father would be home soon.

But when the child woke up and found he was alone-- police say he left the house in his pajamas with just socks on his feet.

Police say the boy made it about two blocks before anyone saw him at a busy intersection--when they arrived, they were able to trace his footprints back home.

Back at home they found the boy's father, 24 year old Alfidio Cruz, who they realized was wanted on a warrant for 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct in Kentwood.

Cruz was arrested and the boy was placed in the care of Child Protective Services.

As for neighbors like Copeland--they're thankful someone saw the boy and called for help.

"They'd have found a child out here froze to death--I mean that's crazy," she said. "I'm glad my neighbors, like I said, we watch out for each other; I'm just glad one of us caught it."

The case has been turned over to CPS, and police are continuing their investigation.

It's likely it will go to the prosecutor, who will decide if any charges will be filed.