Man arrested after leaving baby in cold
CARRIER MILLS, IL - A southern Illinois man is facing multiple charges after authorities say he left his seven-month-old child outside in the cold.
Saline County Dispatch says they received a call early Saturday morning from a man saying there was an infant in a baby carrier outside his neighbors apartment. The caller expressed obvious concerns because of the extremely low temperatures.
Carrier Mills Police Officer Daniel Austin responded to the apartment at 314 W. Washington Street 1-B in Carrier Mills. When the officer arrived he found the baby still outside on the step of the apartment. The officer noted the infant was wearing only a thin "onesie" type sleeper. The child had no other blankets or other coverings and his head, face and both hands were exposed to the air. The officer noted the baby's cheeks and lips were a bluish color and his hands and feet were cold to the touch.
The officer immediately took protective custody of the child and placed it in his heated squad car. The neighbor who originally contacted authorities agreed to stay with the infant while authorities attempted to locate the child's parents. When the parents could not be found, Officer Austin took the child to Harrisburg Medical Center while he and others continued looking for a telephone number for Mr or Mrs. Leady.
After authorities were unable to find the parents, they eventually located the parents of the child's father. They didn't know where the father was, but deputies were shortly thereafter contacted by the child's mother. Chelsea Leady told authorities she and the father, Joseph Leady, are currently separated, but she had allowed him visitation with the child over the weekend.
After deputies were able to locate Joseph Leady, a personal search found a suspected cannabis pipe. After being given permission to search the apartment by Mrs, Leady, who's name was still on the lease, police also found various items of drug paraphernalia.
Once in custody, Leady told investigators he had taken prescribed sleeping medication at his apartment. He says he had taken the child over to another apartment where he said he took four whiskey shots over the course of four hours. Mr. Leady says he does not remember falling asleep and also said he didn't remember anything until he woke up in the apartment.
Joseph Leady was charged with endangering the life or health of a child, possession of cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia, and was served with an outstanding warrant . Leady was wanted in Perry County for Failure to Appear on a Burglary charge.