BLANCHESTER, Ohio (AP) — The father of an 8-year-old boy who skipped church and was found alone at a store about a half-mile from his home has been charged with child endangering.
The boy apparently walked on a busy highway to a Family Dollar store on April 30, Blanchester police said.
The boy's father, 31-year-old Jeffrey Williamson, told police he went missing that evening, Police Chief Scott Reinbolt said. Williamson said he assumed the boy had gotten on an evening church bus with his four siblings when it pulled up at their house in Blanchester, 40 miles northeast of Cincinnati, shortly after 6 p.m. but he didn't watch them board it, Reinbolt said.
The boy's four siblings returned home on the church bus while police were at the home investigating.
Williamson is scheduled for a hearing in Clinton County Municipal Court on July 10. There was no telephone number listed for him, and court records didn't show an attorney for him.
Williamson told the investigating police officer that night that his arrest was "ridiculous" because the store was "only 4 blocks away" from the family's house, Reinbolt said in a statement.
A clerk at the Family Dollar store had called police to the store at about 8 p.m., but the boy couldn't say where he lived, police said.