It was a story that left police scratching their heads. A 3-year-old boy was left behind in a corn maze in West Jordan, Utah, on Monday, October, 9, and his mother claimed she didn’t notice her son was missing until the following morning.
“The fact that is took so long for them to realize the child was missing — was was it purely an accident?” Sgt. Joe Monson said during an interview with local news station KUTV on Tuesday. “What were the circumstances?”
The toddler’s father, Robert, who spoke to the Salt Lake City Tribune, has an explanation. According to the article published on Thursday, October 12, Robert practices polygamy, but he claimed that had nothing to do with the incident.
Robert and the boy’s mother have 14 children together. She took 11 of them to the fall attraction, and Robert says, her sister bought “two or three” of her own kids. Between the two sets of children, he says there were “about four blond-haired boys about the same height.” Robert was at work when the groups visited the maze and didn’t get home until 9:30 p.m.
At the end of the excursion, Robert’s wife buckled the younger children into car seats, including the 3-year-old. Then, just as they were getting ready to pull out of the parking lot, one of the older kids asked if they could run back to the maze and get a free doughnut.
Robert’s wife waited in the car for 15 minutes. “During that 15 minutes, he must have jumped out,” Robert told the Salt Lake City Tribune his toddler
When the group got home, they watched a scary movie and some of the kids fell asleep. Robert told the paper this was a “diversion” from their normal routine and family members who would have “normally missed” the 3-year-old didn’t realize he was gone. Robert, who didn’t visit the corn maze, was at work until 9:30 p.m.
Although the toddler was left behind at the corn maze, he didn’t spend the night there. He was discovered by an employee at around 7:30 that evening. When authorities weren’t able to locate the toddler’s parents, he spent the night with Division of Child and Family Services, per KUTV.
He was reunited with his mom and dad on Tuesday, and no charges have been filed.
“It’s nice that there were people there that were able to help,” Robert told The Salt Lake City Tribune. “The first outcome that we want is for him to be OK and safe.”