Youngstown 2-year-old and mom reunited after child wanders off - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown 2-year-old and mom reunited after child wanders off

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

Frightening moments for a Youngstown mother as she discovers her two-year-old child missing.

The mother and child were reunited by police but she says there's a lesson that can be learned from her ordeal. 

Lacrecia Bates is a young mother who tells her two-year-old son Noah to show our 21 News crew just how easy it was for him to unlock the front door.  He doesn't even have to turn the knob, and it only takes him seconds.

Noah made it out of his home and went walking down the street in just his diaper and a t-shirt.

His mom Lacrecia say she was in the basement doing laundry and thought the toddler was still sleeping upstairs until she notice that a bear that he normally sleeps with was on the couch in the living room when she came up to fold laundry.

"So I'm just still folding clothes, it's around 8:30, and something is like telling me get up and go check on Noah and see what he's doing because usually he's up by now.  So I ran upstairs and I said Noah come on time to get up let's eat.  So I go in my room because that's where he sleeps.  He sleeps with me.  So I go in my room, I flip the covers back to try and startle him and make him get up and I didn't see anything," Lacrecia said.

After searching her entire house, that's when the Youngstown woman says she began freaking out, desperate to find her baby.  She immediately called 911.

"I said he had on a white t-shirt and a pull-up.  She said anything else?  I said no.  That's all he sleeps in.  She's like I think we have your son.  I said what do you mean you have him," Lacrecia said.

Youngstown and Struthers Police said a concerned citizen picked him up near Dunkin Donuts, across the street and about a block away from their home, and handed him to a police officer at the drive-thru.  

Officers bought him a doughnut and juice, and reunited him with his mom.  But the worrying and waiting took a toll.

Lacrecia said, "That 15 minutes was the worst 15 minutes of my life.  I didn't think I was going to see my baby again."

Lacrecia can't stop hugging her son and with tears rolling down her cheeks warns others to put the dead bolt on and don't ever underestimate the intelligence of your child no matter what their age.

"He's a very intelligent two-year-old.  But sometimes he's too smart," Lacrecia said.

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