North Caldwell Police Officer Susan Depoe Finds Toddler on His Own at 2am Saturday; 2 Hour Door-to-Door Canvass Ensued
NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - At about 2am Saturday morning, North Caldwell Police Officer Susan Depoe was on patrol on Hillcrest Place, checking on a car parked in that location overnight. As her lights shown on a nearby home, she saw what appeared to be a young child sitting on the front porch of the home there.
According to Police Chief Mark Deuer, Depoe walked up to the home and found a boy about three-years old sitting alone on the stoop and holding his blanket. The officer rang the doorbell and was met by the homeowners, an older couple, who had no knowledge of the child.
Officer Depoe is also the mother of a young child; she took the young boy into her car while North Caldwell Police, with the assistance of officers from Essex Fells, Fairfield and Cedar Grove, began a door to door canvassing of the area. Everyone in the neighborhood was awakened and shown the child to see if they could identify him.
"We began on one side of the street, then the other
Two hours later, around 4am, police found an open sliding glass door on Mountain Avenue. After calling into the home, and receiving no answer, the officers cautiously went upstairs to the bedroom area and found the residents asleep.
It turned out that the homeowners were babysitting the boy and his sibling while the parents were away. At some point, the child woke up and went off on his own through the unlocked back door.
"He walked from the residence, going north along Mountain,