The mother and aunt of a legally blind 10-year-old boy were booked on cruelty charges after briefly leaving him on the side of a Louisiana highway because he was misbehaving.
A driver reported seeing someone pick up a child from the side of Interstate 12 on Wednesday about 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of Baton Rouge and put him in a van. Authorities feared they were dealing with a kidnapping, said Jason Ard, the Livingston Parish sheriff's spokesman.
Investigators found the boy had actually been dropped off as punishment. The van traveled a short distance down the highway before the mother got out and retrieved him, Ard said. It was unclear exactly how long the child was out of the car but Ard said Friday it was probably only a few minutes.
Deputies booked the mother, Christine Cole, 32, and the aunt, Judy Chamberlain, 33, with second-degree cruelty to a child, Ard said.
The boy, whose name was not released, was placed in state custody.