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: Authorities locked down a Route 46 shopping center for more than two hours while conducting a massive search for a missing 2-year-old boy whose mother eventually remembered had left him at a friend’s house.
Shoppers got a bit testy as officers from Saddle Brook, Garfield, and both the county prosecutor’s office and county police, stopped them from going in and out.
However, Saddle Brook Police Chief Robert Kugler explained: “We had to shut down and methodically check every car exiting the shopping center onto Rt 46.
“Police scanned every car coming out and checked all cars leaving until we knew child was not at our location,” the chief told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
“The entire mall was shut down — no one in or out,” said shopper Jorge Araujo, who writes an occasional column for CVP . “The whole staff of the WalMart was in on the search.”
Police even searched a Garfield beauty salon the woman had visited earlier in the day.
The little boy was at a relative’s house and the mother had “a remembrance episode — or lack thereof,” Kugler told CLIFFVIEW PILOT Thursday night.
After more than two hours, “she remembered she dropped the child off before going to Sally Beauty Supply” in the Saddle Brook Center shopping plaza, the chief told the website.
“Everyone was crying with tears of joy and relief,” Araujo said. “Police were consoling the mother & father. [Her] sister was there, and grandma too!”
As of 7:30, police were still interviewed the mother “to get all the facts now for possible future action,” Kugler said, without elaborating.
Araujo, meanwhile, praised law enforcement for the quick response.
“They were there in seconds!” he said. “The professional manner, the compassion for the parents, and the percise response they gave deserve recognition.”
Still, the entire incident gnaws at Araujo. |
“How can you forget where you left your child? he asked. “I know you can get carried away with all the things you have to do during the day, but No 1 is your child!”
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