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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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7/29/2011 10:00:00 PM
Father arrested after twin toddlers found walking alone on road
Lisa Irish
The Daily Courier

Chino Valley police booked Edwin Dewees Jr., 29, of Chino Valley into the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde Thursday afternoon on charges of two counts of child abuse after his twin 2-year-old sons were found walking alone along Road 1 North.

At 2:20 p.m., a person told an officer about two small children walking alone near Road 1 North and Cactus Wren.

The officer immediately found two 2-year-old boys, one wearing just a T-shirt, walking barefoot down Road 1 North, said Cmdr. Mark Garcia of the Chino Valley Police Department.

The officer took the children, who appeared unharmed, to the Chino Valley Police Department and called CPS, which took custody of the children, said Sgt. Vince Schaan of the Chino Valley Police Department.

For nearly two hours, officers tried to find the children's home and their caretaker, but could not, Garcia said.

At 4:10 p.m., the children's mother flagged down a police officer in the area and reported that two of her three children were missing, Garcia said.

The woman told the officer she had left the twins and their 4-year-old at home with their father while she went shopping at 10 a.m. and, when she got home, she couldn't find the twins, Garcia said.

When officers spoke to Dewees, he said he had been cleaning inside the home and didn't notice the children were gone until his wife returned home, Schaan said.

"He reported he put the children down for a nap and did not notice or hear them leave," Schaan said.

Dewees told police he thought the boys might have left through a door to the house, Schaan said.

"When the mother got home, Dewees went to wake the children and they were not there," Schaan said. "He told her he could not find them. She went outside and spoke to some of our officers who were in the area looking for someone responsible for the children."

Police are not sure how long the children were outside before being found by the resident and the officer, Garcia said.

The children remain in CPS custody pending further investigation, Schaan said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Article comment by: @ STOP IT

@ Stop It. If you are naive enough to believe that "Innocent People" do not get arrested then the Easter bunny and Santa are probably your best friends. You are too assuming that there is MORE to this story.(whats your assumption? Drug use?) So then I am just as easy to assume that there is less to this story and the Police over reacted to some toddlers wandering around and misused their force. Since we're assuming and all!

Posted: Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Article comment by: @ Tricia Cable

I think you are missing the point of the person addressing you. 1. Its clear you did not read the article before commenting.Because you had no idea the father was arrested. 2. They began jumping to conclusions just as you did because you mentioned drug use and NO WHERE in the article does it state that drug use was an issue. Hints their sarcasm! Hope I better helped you understand.

Posted: Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Article comment by: Stop It!

You may not be aware that the police don't release all the details of every arrest they make to the Courier or other media outlets while a case is still under investigation. Real life law enforcement is NOTHING like what you may see on TV.

I assure you there is much more to this case than what was released to the Courier. It's so easy for all of you to sit at your computer and criticize the police for the work they do - you have NO IDEA what you're talking about.

Innocent people do not get arrested. I'm sure you all have a story about someone you know who was arrested 'for no reason'. I'm sure there was a reason, but who wants to admit their stupidity to their friends?

Stop being so critical of the police and be glad that they were able to help these children, because they need it!

Posted: Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Article comment by: Oscar Frank

"What if" means those kids didn't wander in front of a speeding car.
"What if" means that some sicko wasn't driving by and stopped to grab one or both of the kids.
"What if" means that they didn't surprise a resting rattlesnake and stop to look.
"What if" means that a neighborhood dog wasn't out and about looking for a couple of squeaky toys.
They're called toddlers because, guess what, they toddle!
They walk, they run, they have a reach of 9 feet for anything dangerous. They will climb stairs, chairs and tables to get at something that will injure or kill them. (That's why your guns should be unloaded and locked. Mine are.)
"What if" means the father got lucky.

Posted: Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Article comment by: toddler of the 60's

ARE you kidding me??? when I was a toddler I was constantly taking off, my mother was never charged, my son was constantly taking off, I cannot believe this, you are charging him. you think that your children are taking a nap and let me tell you from a mother of 3-as well as I remember many times I was suppose to be taking a nap I snuck out, kids are very sneaky and can be quiet when they want to. I am pointing my finger at all the ones that think that the father is at fault stop the insanity and drop the charges, you all think that this was the first case that a child had just wandered off . AS FOR CPS they are really getting to nosy this is not CHILD NEGLECT give me a break. yes actually the father SHOULD have checked in on the kids from time to time especially if they are taking that long of a nap. however drop the charges,

Posted: Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Article comment by: Tricia Cable

re @ me:
Did I at any point state that the parent(s) must have been on drugs? I said that it was a possibility, as it is, that is why it is being investigated, but obviously your intuition supersedes the police, at least in your own mind (yes I apparently missed that the father was booked) As for someone knowing that their child was going to be missing, there are those who know before hand that something terrible is going to happen to them and their loved ones, and they are not psychic, intuition does not work that way, the sort of person who knows bad things are just bound to happen to them are those who bring trouble to their door, not prevent it . May I recommend you read up on the definition of intuition before you comment. I also believe that I made it stringently clear that I did not pretend to know the circumstances surrounding it, if you have information that is that pertinent to this case that you have all the answers and can attest to the fathers character, than perhaps your time would be better spent giving your inside information to those whom it can benefit.

Posted: Monday, August 01, 2011
Article comment by: J K

No bs or boosting here! Watching children is not all I am paid to do.You think the messes that 10 children make clean themselves?Who do you think cooks and washes dishes? I bet you also think the floors sweep,mop and vacuum themselves. I do just as much multi-tasking at work as i do at home as a mother. In the future if you do not like what i have written please keep your comments to yourself

Posted: Monday, August 01, 2011
Article comment by: @ Tricia Cable

@ Tricia C. On the very first line it states that the father was booked into Yavapai County jail. Booked means arrested and in Jail. May I recommend that you read the story before you comment on it. I would also recommend that you comment on the disabled boys story and explain that those parents MUST have been on drugs too, because that's the only way to explain their child missing for 7 hours and that the mothers intuition should have told her he was missing before he went missing and should have pointed her straight to him.

Posted: Monday, August 01, 2011
Article comment by: @ oscar

Oscar, what does "what if" have to do with "what is"?
What if a jumbo jet airliner crashed into the home as soon as the boys made it to a safe distance away?

Posted: Monday, August 01, 2011
Article comment by: Oscar Frank

For all of those who think that calling in CPS and the police is over reacting: What if there was a pool just outside that door?

Posted: Monday, August 01, 2011
Article comment by: @J K

Your absolute perfection tells me one thing...your resume if BS. First off if you are working at a day care you have nothing else to do and are being paid to do nothing else. Is that what you are boasting about?

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Article comment by: @ Just Saying

I counted no less than two sentence fragments and one capitalization where one need not be in your rant (which by the way was pertinent to nothing in the article). That was in addition to the (intentional) misspelling of education. For every finger you point remember three are pointing back at you. (can I have my $$ back?)

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Article comment by: J K

I have worked in day care for 7 years and i have 2 children of my own. I have cared for tons of kids from all walks of life. With that being said the father should have child neglect charges there is no reason for him not to check on his 2 year old sons while they are sleeping. If this had been a daycare provider she/he would be in jail! So lay off the cops and cps! I for one am thankful for them! Bravo cops and cps!

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Article comment by: I.M. Confused

Last week an autistic boy wandered off and went missing for close to 7 hours into the dark of night, and while he was found safe, things could have turned out differently. No charges. No arrests. Everyone's just happy he's home and safe.
This week 2 boys wander off and go missing for a couple of hours and are found okay. Everyone is happy they're home and safe. Dad goes to jail.
If something is missing from this story then it should be reported.
If all the facts have been reported then what the heck is the difference?? Does a child wandering off warrant jail time??

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Article comment by: Victoria Jones

Did Bad Deal even read this article? These kids/parents are lucky that they were taken care of by the police rather than some pedophile. Yes, children can get out of your house, but to ASSUME they are sleeping and NEVER check on them is ridiculous. If your children like to escape, you put better locks on your doors, period. Then, when you are unable to watch them, you know they are safe inside. Why are people bashing the police when the father is to blame? signed CONCERNED PARENT

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Article comment by: Police and CPS out of control

Um kids wander sometimes. Arresting and CPS is way overreacting. Personally, I think he should lawyer up and sue both the CV police and the CPS department. Do we need more proof that the police department is overstaffed/overfunded than frivolous arrests like this? Time for the voters to get these guys out of their giant suv's cruising all over town looking for any excuse to justify thier jobs.

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Article comment by: Chino Rez

To read these blogs is to see the typical responses from the "Me" Generation. First deny responsibility. 2nd come up with an excuse, cleaning the house, yeah right. Then place the blame on someone else. Two toddlers walking down a busy road without shoes and clothesin the middle of an Arizona Summer is unacceptable. They were gone for at least two hours. Answer up for what you did, learn to take responsibility for your actions and stop trying to blame the cops. Maybe Edwin's buddies could help the couple out with some babysitting instead of posting blogs disparaging police for what their buddy did.

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Article comment by: Another Houdini's Dad

When our older son was 2 we had to install extra locks up high on all the outside doors to keep him in. He had already figured out how to escape his crib and could unlock both regular door locks and deadbolts. We were worried he would go walkabout in the middle of a winter night and freeze. If he had a twin brother they probably would have gotten the car keys and tried for a joyride. CPS involvement and child abuse charges seem excessive to me. How about a little education instead?

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Article comment by: Just Saying

The poor writing and spelling in these posts is an embarrassment. Obviously the posters were Edjukated in a US public school.
I want a refund of the thousand$ taxpayers spent on you. We were rippped off!
Have some self respect and learn to write!

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Article comment by: Give me a break!!!

Sometimes kids wander off. It doesn't sound like there was any negligence involved. If he was cleaning or vacuuming, he might never have heard them leave. I certainly wasn't always where my parents thought I was. I'm glad they were never taken to jail for it!

This society has become way too crazy about anything involving kids. Maybe next we will jail dad if the kids fall off a swing, or jail both parents if the kids ride their bikes further than the end of the street. It is neither possible nor desirable to strip childhood of all risk, so let's get over it!

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011

I find it funny that a disabled child went missing not to long before this story came out and that child was missing for hours and his parents received no charges. This man needed no search and rescue like the other parents. So for all of you stating that you are the worlds best parents. I expect to see you posting on that story telling those parents how unfit they are and how disgusted you are that they got away with not watching their children and that you expect the local police department to file child abuse, neglect and endangerment charges.

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Article comment by: Tricia Cable

How do some of you figure that it would only be negligence if the father where getting high, that would be an entirely separate issue of endangerment & would at least explain how a parent wouldn't notice that their children are missing & had been for over 2 hours, CPS has to investigate the situation, for those saying otherwise how do you know that drug use wasn't a factor, whether or not someone is found w/ a smoking gun (or pipe) doesn't necessarily mean that it isn't or wasn't a factor (not saying it was, the point being is that I don't know that & neither does anyone else which is why it is being investigated) No where does it state that the father was arrested, but I am sure that he feels awful at this point, as a Mom I feel that my intuition would tell me that something wasn't right or feel the house as empty as soon as they left, but I don't think that men have that same type of intuition.

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Article comment by: S Cole

I am a Father of 5 boys. I can tell you when I was a little kid I along with my little brother would head down Lincoln Ave after a good rain and play in the street gutter making our way to the drainage ditch on Merritt. My parents didn't know we left we snuck off. Back then we had neighbors who would either call our parents or take us home. The problem today is neighbors arent neighbors. They are people living in a house next to your house. It is much easier to call the cops because I dont want to be involved. Now as I mentioned I am a Father of 5. My boys have snuck out of my house and played out of my yard headeing down the sidewalk. My 3 year old hates shoes and we don't make him wear them. Should CPS come to my place as well? My wife hates shoes and refuses to wear them unless in a public store. I never heard of such crap as this. This just shows that the Law has way to much authority over individuals in this state. My children are mine and not the state. I have never had CPS to my home and by golly I think its time for all of us to start looking out for each other and stop calling the cops for stupid stuff. Lets become neighbors again and stop looking out for ourselves. I feel bad for the Dad in the story and realize he made a mistake. It is easy though to lose track of a toddler. They move fast and quite. Is he accountable? Yes, but to warrant jail? I think not

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Article comment by: @ Oscar Frank

Grow up Oscar! The key to being a parent is thinking like a two year old. I can tell you this, unless you have experience with twins you have know idea what you are talking about. You will never second guess two twin boys, you can only gain experience. What I picture happening is a few pimply faced Chino cops getting all worked up and feeling holier than thou. If this had been a search initiated by the parents I doubt they would have over reacted so ridiculously. I don't care who you people condemning these parents are. If you are parents yourselves I accuse you of having short memories, or slow children.

Posted: Saturday, July 30, 2011
Article comment by: Honky's Offspring

You all need to get a cheep Radio Shack scanner. You will be amazed at what goes on that the Police have to deal with daily.
What isn't told is the Police Officers are rated on production which really means arrests etc!
That has a lot to do with using common sense in cases like this.
The Police looks like idiots as does the father. I hope the real truth comes out and soon.

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