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Parents Arrested After Toddler Found Wandering Streets, Wet And Shivering: Cops

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Nicolas Latta (L) and Elizabeth Latta-Walker (R) have been charged with five counts of child endangerment.
Nicolas Latta (L) and Elizabeth Latta-Walker (R) have been charged with five counts of child endangerment.

A toddler found wandering the streets in Ohio was living in squalor at home, police say.

An 18-month-old girl was found wandering a back alley in a Hamilton neighborhood when Good Samaritan Charles Webb found and rescued her last Wednesday, WCPO reported.

Webb alerted authorities to the lost child, who he said was wet and shivering with no shoes on.

"Right here walking back and forth like she was distraught and lost," Webb said in the alley where he found her. "And poor little thing was so cold. All she had was a little onesie outfit on, no gloves, no hat no jacket, no nothing."

Webb told the Journal-News the child was also holding a cup of beer.

Webb sat the child in his car and turned on the heat until police arrived.

On Friday, the parents of the toddler, Nicolas Latta and Elizabeth Latta-Walker, turned themselves in to authorities.

According to police, the child -- who shares a home with four other children -- lived in poor conditions. The home had no electricity or running water, inadequate food supply, and a five-gallon bucket filled with feces was found in the bathroom alongside a full toilet.

Police also said the home was littered with animal feces.

Authorities removed all five children from the residence, who are now staying with their grandparents. The parents face five counts of child endangerment.

Before turning themselves in to authorities, Nicolas Latta spoke to WCPO to explain what happened, and the station confirmed that electricity and water had been turned back on in the residence.

"My wife said she sat down for a minute while she had everybody upstairs," Latta said. "Somehow, [our daughter] ended up sneaking out. I'm sure we would have been out there very shortly if the cops wouldn't have showed up. We would have been out there very fast."

Webb, however, said the little girl may have been out there between two to four hours as Nicolas Latta slept upstairs and Elizabeth Latta allegedly neglected her child.

"When the parents did see the little girl to identify her you would think most children would go right back to her mother," Webb said. "She clung on to my fiance and would not let go, like she did not want to go back to her parents. They said she had probably been outside for between two and four hours. Thank God that I was late walking my dog that day."

On Sunday, Hamilton police responded to reports of a 3-year-old boy crying outside in 19-degree weather.

Police arrested mother Amanda Jacobs, who told police she had gone to a friend's house and had only been gone about 10 minutes.

Jacobs was charged with child endangerment and was being held without bond on Sunday.

Police say the toddler was wearing only a T-shirt and jeans in the sub-freezing temperatures.

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