VANCEBORO, CRAVEN COUNTY - Vanceboro Police have taken a mother into custody after her 2-year-old child was found wandering along the side of a road.
Police said a passing motorist spotted the boy on the side of Main Street, also known as Highway 43, at about 9:30 a.m. Thursday. The child was soaking wet from the morning rain. The driver then took the boy to a nearby Wells Fargo bank, investigators said.
Vanceboro Police Chief Jimmy Jenkins said the boy lives nearby and wandered out of the house while his mother, 27-year-old Ivey Barfield, was sleeping. The father was not home at the time.
"He's a little Houdini," Dan Quinn, the boy's grandfather said. "Today he got up crawled over his little gate and got all the way downstairs by himself."
Barfield was arrested and charged with misdemeanor child abuse.
Quinn said his daughter is good mother and the boy is well taken care of. He said the incident Thursday was simply an accident.
"It's just one of those things that happened and thank the good lord that he's safe," Quinn said.
Chris Butler, a neighbor, agreed that Barfield appears to be a good mother.
"I'm surprised," Butler said. "I'm sure Ivey was just as surprised to hear it herself."
As for the person who saw 2-year-old Erik Jr. and called police, Quinn has this message:
"I would live to thank them from the bottom of my heart because if something happened to that baby I would have to get into the ground with him. I just couldn't stand it."