Mother gets son back after DCS takes custody - WKRN News 2

Mother gets son back after DCS takes custody

Posted: Updated: April 29, 2013 05:57 PM

A Columbia mother got custody of her little boy back after the state took him away.

Jessica Johnson hadn't seen her 2-year-old son Ryder since last Thursday morning when she tucked him into bed.

Johnson said Ryder wasn't feeling well and had been up all night Wednesday. She finally got him to go to sleep around 5 a.m. Thursday.

A few hours later, her parents heard a knock at their Mapleash Avenue home. It was Columbia police and officers were holding a picture of their grandson, Ryder.

"My husband told them, that's my grandson. But how could it be? He's in there asleep," said Stephanie Johnson, Ryder's grandmother.

"I was panic struck when I saw the picture of him missing," said James Johnson, Ryder's grandfather.

The toddler had somehow managed to unlock and open a window in his bedroom.

Ryder had thrown out a few toys then apparently climbed out of the window and walked through a field down to East 8th Street about a block away.

A resident spotted him and called 911.

"He just came out of the blue and we don't know where his parents are at or nothing," the caller told the dispatcher.

Unable to locate Ryder's family, officers placed him in the custody of the Department of Children's Services.

They began going door-to-door and a neighbor eventually identified the little boy and told police where he lived.

"He's very smart and very strong. He is very rambunctious, very," said Johnson.

The mother was shocked he had gotten out of the home and said she had no reason to believe he wasn't in his bed.

Johnson was desperate to get her son back.

"It has felt like the longest weekend of my life. I just want my son back in my arms and I'm never going to let him go ever again," said Johnson.

No charges were filed in the case.

The family had a hearing Monday afternoon during which the judge told the Johnsons that he did not any neglegance in this case, believed it was a "freak accident and that their home was safe.

Ryder was placed back into the Johnsons' custody and they were able to go pick him up after the hearing.

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