EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSCHILD NEGLECT ARREST
from Eyewitness News Online
Kanawha County Couple Arrested After Autistic Boy Found Wandering Alone
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Troy Morgan
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Feb. 7, 2013 10:23 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 8, 2013 9:02 AM EST
South Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A little boy's parents are behind bars after police found their autistic son wandering around a South Charleston neighborhood while they were allegedly passed out on prescription drugs.
"It breaks my heart," says Molly Boarding, who found the boy.
She's lived at the Parkland Terrace Apartments in South Charleston for eight years, but Wednesday was a day unlike any other for her.
"His little clothes was muddy and he had been outside playing I guess," she said.
She found the five year old outside looking for his home. Her motherly instincts kicked in, and she says she helped take care of him until another neighbor called police. She says she played firetrucks and cars with him, and even made sure he had food.
Police walked the boy around and discovered he lived nearby. When police went inside the apartment, they say they found Alan McNeely, 39, of Belle, and and Vestina McNeely, 35, also of Belle "sleeping very heavily."
Police say when they were able to get inside and wake the McNeely's up, they told police they had no idea the little boy was missing.
"It's sad to know that something like this really happened because I love kids," said neighbor David Goodall.
Vestina McNeely told police she took sleeping pills and Xanax and Alan had also taken prescription pills "due to a prior condition."
Police believe the child was out of the home for more than four hours.
"I was really concerned because like I said, he's such a sweet little boy," said Goodall.
Managers at the complex say the couple doesn't live in the apartment, but Vestina's mother does, and she's currently in the hospital.
The couple is in jail on a $10,000 bond and charged with child neglect creating risk of injury. The child is in the care of another family member.
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