UPDATE: Sioux Falls Couple Says Abandoned Baby Boy was “Misplaced” Outside Church for 18 Hours
But the couple at the center of the story said it's all a misunderstanding. KDLT reporter Jill Johnson has more
SIOUX FALLS, SD — The father of the infant left outside of a Sioux Falls Church has been arrested.
Ronald Harrison Jr., 38, has been charged with felony child abuse and neglect.
Police said his two and a half old baby was left outside overnight earlier this week.
But the couple at the center of the story said it’s all a misunderstanding.
Police said they got the call Tuesday morning.
An infant had been found in a car seat abandoned near the door of Faith Family Church.
He was wearing just a short sleeve onesie and had no protection from the elements.
“The woman that found the child said the baby was soaked,” said Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens.
That was just after 8:30 a.m.
An hour later, the child’s father, Ronald Harrison Jr. and the mother came to the Law Enforcement Center to report the child missing.
According to court documents, they told police they accidentally “lost”, “forgot” or “misplaced” the baby at around 8th Street and Spring Avenue.
The couple told police that they were arguing and the mother walked off.
Court documents stated Harrison chased after their two-year-old child and had returned to the area but no one was there.
“Mom walked away, dad walked away and they apparently, I guess, that’s what they were telling detectives that they both thought the other had the baby,” Officer Clemens said.
According to court documents, Harrison told police “You guys have video. I have kids and I just leave them by the *expletive* side of the road.”
Harrison was arrested Wednesday night.
“There’s just a lot of bad things that could have happened when you’re talking about leaving a child that young outside in the cold in the rain for that period of time,” Officer Clemens said.
Video surveillance confirms that the parents left the area at around 2:45 Monday afternoon.
The child was discovered 18 hours later.
“I don’t recall ever having a, especially an infant this young, being outside that long,” Officer Clemens said.
During the time the baby was left outside, Sioux Falls received around 3 inches of rain and the temperature was 54 degrees.
The boy was taken to the hospital and is okay.
He’s now in protective custody.
The mother has not been charged.