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Springfield parents charged with child endangering

A man and woman are facing a child endangering charge after their child was found walking down a sidewalk alone.

Officers were dispatched to North Bechtle Avenue and West North Street at 9:14 p.m. Tuesday after a motorist found the 2-year-old and alerted police. No one knew who the child was, and officers went door-to-door speaking with neighbors in an attempt to identify the child’s parents. Police continued to walk west down North Street, when they met a woman named Sara Claar, who identified herself as the mother.

Officers went inside the house to check the living conditions due to the nature of the incident. Darnell Leon Thomas, who identified himself as the child’s father, stated it was his sister’s house and police were not welcome inside, according to records.

At this time, Thomas got very defensive and was upset with police for searching his home, according to court records.

Police noted the kitchen was dirty, with trash bags overflowing and dirty dishes in the sink. When police went to look at the child’s bedroom, they noticed that the child slept on the floor near her parents’ mattress which was covered with clothes and food particles.

Because the child had walked an eighth of a mile away from the home and the parents were unaware where she was for 30 minutes, Claar and Thomas were both arrested for child endangering. The child was put in the care of a family member.

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