The mother of a 3-year-old boy who was found alone running down the sidewalk in West Englewood neighborhood overnight has been charged with child endangerment, police said.
The boy was found shortly before 11:30 p.m. Monday in the 7200 block of South Hermitage Avenue, police said.
The boy's mother, Carla Conrad of the 7100 block of South Wood Street was charged with misdemeanor child endangerment, according to Chicago Police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli.
The woman was questioned by detectives after she came forward after her father called her to tell her that the boy's picture was on television, said Mirabelli.
The boy was not able to tell police his name, who his parents were or where he lived, police said.
The woman initially told police that she had checked on her son at about 2:30 a.m. which could not be the case because police had the boy, Mirabelli.
Conrad then gave conflicting information to police and said at another point that that the boy had been asleep on the floor of the home, Mirabelli said.
But the boy's aunt told police that the boy had been asleep on a bed, Mirabelli said.
The boy along with a 10-year-old brother had been with the aunt but the boy awoke during the evening while the woman was asleep, Mirabelli said. The boy managed to dress himself before leaving the home, Mirabelli said.
The police issued an alert asking for the public's help. The mother arrived at the Englewood police station this morning and was speaking with detectives, police said.
"The tears are flowing," a police official said.
The boy was evaluated overnight at a hospital and released into the custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Spokesman Jimmie Whitelow said the department is investigating the mother for neglect. He would not disclose any details.
It was unclear how long the boy had been outside, police said. But despite the bitter cold -- it was 19 degrees at Midway Airport at 11 p.m., according to the National Weather Service -- the boy was determined to be in good condition.
He was wearing a black down coat, a red Nike hooded sweatshirt and a black winter hat with the word "Obama" on it. He was also wearing black and white Adidas gym shoes and blue jeans inscribed with the words "D.J. Bottoms," police said.
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