A Utah mom reportedly left her son behind in a corn maze and didn't realize he was missing until the next morning.
Employees at West Jordan's Crazy Corn Maze called police to alert them that a 3-year-old boy had been found in the maze and no one had come to pick him up when the maze was closing, according to New York Daily News. The Division of Child and Family Services took the child in for the night, and his mother called to report him as missing the next day.
According to Sgt. Joe Monson, the mother called police on Oct. 10 to report her son as missing. Authorities told her that he was at DCFS, where the mother and son reunited.
The mom said that she had gone to the corn maze with a large group of people. When the group got home, they started watching a movie and the woman went to bed, unaware that the toddler was not with the group. She reportedly noticed the boy's disappearance the next morning.
"This was a case of multiple families with multiple children living in the same home," explained Monson, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
"He was and crying and really scared," said the maze's owner, Kendall Schmidt, KSTU reports.
"It was a roller coaster, but you try not to panic," Schmidt said. "You try not to think of the worst."
Schmidt said a woman found the boy in the maze by himself.
"She came over and she was helping out and we got him a sucker," the owner recalled. "We got a blanket for him, trying to keep him warm."
"I took the blow horn out into the maze and was making announcements that if you had lost a child, please come to the front of the maze," Schmidt said.
After hours elapsed without anyone coming to claim the boy, Schmidt said a police officer helped out.
"A police officer took him to her car and got a movie going for him, showed him the movie 'Finding Dory,'" recalled Schmidt. "As it got later and later we got a little more worried."
"As the night wore on, even at midnight I texted the police officer to see if she heard anything and she hadn't heard anything back yet," said the corn maze owner.
Schmidt said he was grateful to the women who helped the boy when she found him alone.
"I'd say thank you," he said. "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."
Charges have reportedly not been filed against the mother, but police continue to investigate the case.
"It's a process," said DCFS Public Information Officer Ashley Sumner explained. "We don't want to jump to any conclusions but we are also concerned mainly about the safety of the child."