NEW IBERIA, LA (FOX44) — A father is charged with child desertion today after his 2-year-old baby was found walking down a highway alone. The child’s grandmother was also arrested and the baby is now in custody of the state.
The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office reports that a citizen called in the complaint at around noon on Wednesday, June 27. The concerned citizen spotted the child walking down Hwy. 14 in New Iberia alone. She retrieved the child to get him out of harms way.
The woman then walked to several homes in the area. After several unsuccessful attempts to locate guardians of the child, she called the Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies noted that the child was “very thirsty and had not had his diaper changed for some time.” They also made several attempts to locate anyone with information regarding the child’s parents. They too were unsuccessful.
Juvenile detectives contacted the Department of Children and Family Services who assisted in the investigation. At approximately 3:00 p.m. detectives were able to locate the father of the infant, Jonathan Penley, 29, and the infant’s grandmother, Della Bearb, 68.
Both were charged with Child Desertion and released on a summons.
The infant is still in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services.