Lehigh Valley

Mom charged after police find wandering toddler

Police said he was wearing only shirt, wet diaper

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A Lehigh County woman is facing charges after police allegedly found her toddler roaming the streets in nothing but a diaper and a shirt.

Catasauqua police charged Justine Laudenslager with a single misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child. District Judge Karen Devine arraigned the 29-year-old Tuesday night.

Borough police were dispatched to the area of Second and Pine streets about 11:15 a.m. Tuesday to investigate a report of a small child wandering around wearing a diaper. The boy, who almost walked into traffic at the intersection, was wearing only a wet diaper and a shirt, according to court records.

The responding officer wrapped the boy in his coat, and authorities later verified the temperature was 32 degrees at the time,

The boy was evaluated at Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest and released into the custody of children and youth services. Court records do not specify the boy's age.

Police checked records relating to children living in the area where the boy was found and determined he lived in a Walnut Street apartment, according to records. Authorities said they found Laudenslager sleeping on her couch, and that she identified a photo of the boy as her son.

Laudenslager was released on $10,000 unsecured bail following her arraignment. Her next court date is a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for March 7.

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