ELIZABETHTON — The discovery of a 4-year-old boy walking alone and nude in a remote location on U.S. Highway 321 at 8:30 p.m. Saturday has led to the arrest of the boy’s parents.
Pamela Henderson, 34, and Donald Lee McNair II, 35, both of 4449 Highway 321, Butler, were each charged with child neglect under the age of 6 years old.
The child had been found by a truck driver, who said the boy was standing in the middle of the highway in a remote location near Mallard Cove Marina.
The truck driver turned the boy over to Constable BobbyTrivette. At the time, the only clothing the boy was wearing was pair of adult-size 11 clog shoes. He was covered in mud and could not talk.
Carter County Deputy Harmon Duncan responded at 8:38 p.m. and took custody of the boy from Trivette. He placed the boy in his cruiser and transported him to a safer location.
When he stopped, he was approached by a motorist who said she was the special needs teacher at Hampton Elementary School. She said she recognized the child, but could not remember his name or the names of his parents.
Duncan then transported the child to the Carter County Sheriff’s Department. At 9:30 p.m. a relative, John McNair called 911 to report a missing child. He identified himself as the brother of Donald McNair, who is the father of the boy.
Duncan called Constable Trivette, who went to the McNair residence. There, he spoke with a 13-year-old girl. The girl told Trivette her mother, Henderson, had been gone for several hours and she did not know where her mother was or when she would return. The girl said her mother had left her in charge of her 4-year-old brother and her 2-yearold sibling.
Henderson came to the sheriff’s department later in the evening with Constable Trivette. She said she had left the children with their 13-year-old sister for several hours. Duncan said Henderson told him the boy is autistic and is prone to run away if not watched constantly.
Duncan reported that Henderson has five children ranging in age from 2 to 13 and is currently pregnant with twins. Two of the children, aged 3 and 5, were left with another relative.
Henderson and McNair are scheduled to answer the charges in Sessions Court on Aug. 25.