3 charged after small child found running down road alone with soiled diaper, police say

Left: Caleb Stone. Middle: Desirea Mercer. Right: Cory Stewart.
Left: Caleb Stone. Middle: Desirea Mercer. Right: Cory Stewart.(Vanderburgh Co. Sheriff's Office.)
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 2:22 PM EDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE/Gray News) – A 2-year-old was seen running alone down a road in Indiana Monday, police say.

According to WFIE, a woman called 911 when she saw the toddler wandering without any adults.

When officers arrived, they noticed the child had a dirty diaper that hadn’t been changed in a long time.

Officers were able to track down where the toddler was staying and said they could smell urine and feces after opening the front door of the apartment.

According to police, a man lying in bed inside didn’t respond to officers so they went inside to see if he needed medical attention.

Officers said there was rotting food and gnats inside the apartment, in addition to several animals living in unsanitary conditions.

Authorities woke up Caleb Stone, the man in bed, and took him into custody.

Stone told police Desirea Mercer dropped off her son for him to watch, and explained he took a nap when he thought the toddler had fallen asleep.

Mercer arrived while police were still at the apartment and was also taken into custody along with her boyfriend, Cory Stewart.

According to police, Stewart lived at the apartment and knew the child was being left in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. He claims he told Mercer the child should not be left there.

Stone, Mercer and Stewart all face neglect-related charges.

Police said the officers who responded to this case suffered headaches and sore throats due to the odor and conditions of the apartment.

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