NEW: Toddler missing in Urbana is located; police, children’s services open investigation

A student was shot near a high school in Harvey, Louisiana, during early dismissal on the last day of class.

URBANA — A toddler, reportedly wearing only a diaper and seen running through a yard Thursday morning unsupervised, apparently returned home before Urbana police showed up to begin their search and now police and children services have opened an investigation into the incident.

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Police were called to the 100 block of East Broadway Street after a 9-year-old reported seeing “a young child without clothes on walking . . . unsupervised by an adult. The child was observed running through a back yard and toward a nearby tree line . . . bordering an adjacent field to the east,” Urbana Police Chief Matt Lingrell said in a statement released late Thursday afternoon.

The report prompted the police to request an Ohio State Highway Patrol helicopter, which was was approximately 10 minutes from the area when the state patrol was notified that ground units had located the child, a state patrol spokesman said. But by that time, Urbana police had also called in the Urbana Fire Division, Champaign County sheriff’s deputies and their K-9, and Union County Sheriff’s deputies and their drone unit.

The Champaign County Communications Center even issued a “Code Red” alert to that quadrant of the city, asking people to be on the lookout for the child, Lingrell said.

Police, in looking for the child, searched a three-block area and went door-to-door to verify that houses with children had accounted for them, the chief said. What officers found was a recently discarded diaper on the ground, in a drive near the cornfield.

Officers discovered a 2-year-old boy who fit the description of the youngster the original reporting person had seen, Chief Lingrell said, and that resulted in this response at a home on East Broadway Street:

The boy was safe and wearing a fresh diaper that matched the discarded one officers found during their foot search. Officers interviewed the boy’s mother and learned the child had gotten out of the home and ran off but had apparently returned -- prior to Urbana police arriving on scene to begin their initial investigation.

Lingrell said his department contacted Champaign County Children’s Services for assistance and they are working with the family to make it safer for the children. The police investigation is continuing, the chief said, and the case will be presented to a prosecutor for review once the investigation has been completed.

We will continue updating this story as information becomes available.

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