A 3-year-old child was abandoned in a Utah corn maze on the night of Oct. 9 and reported missing 12 hours later.
The child had been left unattended in the maze until a Good Samaritan noticed the toddler was distraught and brought him to the maze staff. The woman brought in the child at approximately 7:30 p.m. local time; the staff alerted the West Jordan Police Department and authorities arrived shortly after, reports KUTV.
“She came over and she was helping out and we got him a sucker. We got a blanket for him, trying to keep him warm,” Kendall Schmidt, owner of Crazy Corn Maze, said to KSTU.
The maze staff made an announcement to guests that a boy had been found in the maze, but no one came forward to claim him.
When asked who his parents were, the young boy was very emotional and only able to provide his brother's name. He calmed down when an officer played a movie for him on her laptop, reports KUTV.
The following morning, the child's parents called the West Jordan Police Department to report him missing.
"Sounds like this is a dwelling with multiple families and a lot of children living in the same home," said Sgt. Joe Monson to KUTV.
Police told the parents that the Department of Child and Family Services had the boy. No citations or charges have been filed, but the case is still being investigated, reports KUTV.
"The fact that it took so long for them to realize the child was missing -- was it purely an accident? What were the circumstances? These are all questions [investigators] want to ask," Monson said.
Ashley Sumner, public information officer for the Division of Child and Family Services, also weighed in: “It's a process. We don't want to jump to any conclusions but we are also concerned mainly about the safety of the child.”
"What's odd to me is they didn't notice when they got home, or noticed by bedtime, or noticed in the night," said Josy Schmidt, who runs the corn field with her husband.
Kendall said he is grateful that the story had a happy ending and expressed gratitude to the Good Samaritan who found the boy: “I'd say thank you [to her]. As a parent myself, I'd say thank you. I think every parent would just be grateful for another adult to step in and mitigate that situation.”