Police rescue toddler found walking outside home

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - A Petal toddler is lucky to be alive after wandering away from her home this morning and being found by a passing motorist. Police say the 2-year-old girl walked outside of her East 5th Avenue home while her parents were asleep around 8 o'clock.

She was discovered only in her pajamas walking down the middle of Smith Street by a motorist on his way to work. After officers were notified, they went door-to-door until they found the child's home.

Her father has been charged with misdemeanor child neglect.

"I think any parents worst nightmare would be for something to happen and you're in bed asleep and you don't know your child is out of the house and the situation could definitely have been a lot worse this morning," said officer Jeromy Robb of the Petal Police Dept. "It was very cold this morning, hypothermia could have set in on the child," Robb said.

He also says the child was only outside a short while and suffered no ill effects from the cold.

©2011 WDAM. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.