Family claim barefoot boy (4) found wandering in street alone
A three-year-old boy found barefoot in a street last night is being reunited with his family after his parents came forward to report him missing.
West Midlands Police issued an urgent appeal after the boy was found walking alone in Chesterton Avenue, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, just before 10pm.
Police appealed for information to identify his parents shortly after 10am today.
"An hour later, the boy's distressed father called police to report his son missing," said a police spokesman.
The boy, believed to be of Somali origin, was found several streets from his home and taken by officers to a local police station where he was looked after by social services.
Chief Inspector Ian Green, from Birmingham East Police, said: "We are very relieved to be able to hand the little boy back to his family.
"We will, of course, be investigating how the boy got out of the house and we'll be speaking with the family.
"We would like to thank local people and the media for their help. We really appreciate all the shares and re-tweets on social media, which we know has reached hundreds of thousands of people."
The resident who found the boy, retired businesswoman Kusum Parmar, said he appeared distressed and had tears in his eyes when she first saw him on the pavement opposite her home.
The 62-year-old said she was parking her car when she spotted him.
Mrs Parmar said: "He was running across the road, with his bare feet, crying, and I knew he was lost.
"I said 'What's the matter, darling?' but he didn't really speak."
Mrs Parmar then wiped the boy's nose, tidied him up, and took him to several properties in the local area to try to locate his parents.
"I thought he might recognise where he lived and I asked him 'Which one is your house?'."
The boy was then given some biscuits by a local resident and the police were eventually called after a Somalian family living nearby said they did not recognise him.
Mrs Parmar said: "At first I thought he was playing and had forgotten which house to go in.
"He did speak a little bit of English."