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Utah toddler left overnight at corn maze wasn't reported missing until morning
October 10, 2017

WEST JORDAN — A family did not notice they had left their 3-year-old boy at a corn maze in West Jordan until the next morning, police say.

West Jordan Police Sgt. Joe Monson said someone noticed a little boy alone in the maze Monday night and brought the boy to the attention of the Crazy Corn Maze staff.

“They had staff out with bullhorns announcing they had a found child, they waited at the gate, but no one showed up for the child,” Monson said.

One of the corn maze owners, Kendall Schmidt, said they did everything they could, including going car to car. He said the boy was scared and crying, and couldn’t tell them much except his age and the name of his brother and his cat.

“It was a stressful night for us, worrying about him and worrying about his family,” Schmidt said.

An officer who was there took the boy into her car to watch "Finding Dory," a movie about a fish trying to find her parents, and the movie cheered him up, Schmidt said.

After closing time, the owners took the boy to the police station, and officers then contacted the state's Child and Family Services. It wasn't until the next morning when a woman called the police at about 7:45 a.m. and said she couldn't find her little boy and feared he was still at the corn maze, Monson said.

Investigators went to the house and said several families live there together with several children between them, Monson said. Investigators and DCFS will work together with the family to see if it was an oversight or an accident or if charges are warranted.

“This could have been a whole lot worse,” Monson said. “We’ve been out on cases where we are looking for a missing child in cold weather.”

Schmidt said they have had people get lost or separated from each other in the maze in the past, but nothing like this.

“Kids have little legs of their own and little minds of their own, and it’s not hard to get separated," he said. "You have to constantly be watching and re-counting and making sure you have everyone."