Parents Who Left 3-Year-Old in Corn Maze Overnight Speak Out & Their Excuse Is a Head-Scratcher

corn maze where kid was left overnight

News moves so quickly that it's easy to forget even last week's headlines, but most of us still remember the recent story of the 3-year-old boy who was left behind overnight by his family at a corn maze. The child was found scared and wandering alone by a stranger, and after an hours-long search for his family, he was placed in the care of child services overnight. The next morning his parents realized he was missing and rushed to the police station. Now, they're speaking out and explaining exactly how they forgot their child in a corn maze overnight.


For those of us who followed the story when the news first broke, we wondered how in the world any parent except the mom and dad in Home Alone could get in the car and drive away without one of their kids. But as Robert, the father of the little boy, explained to the Salt Lake Tribune, it was a combination of lots of things that led to the little boy's getting accidentally left behind.

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Robert says he has a plural family, though he claims that has nothing to do with what happened with his son. There were lots of kids to keep track of that day, he explains: He and his wife have 14 children, 11 of whom she brought with her to the corn maze -- including the 3-year-old who ended up missing. Her sister also brought two or three of her own kids and they were in multiple cars, so right away you have over a dozen kids to keep track of. Between the siblings and cousins, Robert says there were about four blond-haired boys of about the same size. 

When it was time to leave, Robert's wife did take the 3-year-old out of the corn maze and buckled him into his car seat, along with the other younger children. But someone was handing out free donuts, and the older children heard the siren call of sugar. Robert's wife said yes, so the older kids got out of the car and headed into the 15-minute line. She thought the 3-year-old was in the car with her, but it's believed that this is when he managed to get out of the car and head back into the corn maze on his own. 

Robert's wife and her sister took the children back to Robert's house, where the kids watched a scary movie. Some of the children fell asleep. The sister left with her children. Robert himself was working late and didn't arrive home until 9:30 p.m., and because the 3-year-old often sleeps in bed with an older sibling, no one noticed he wasn't in the house. They assumed he had fallen asleep somewhere.

The next morning when the parents realized their little boy wasn't home, they panicked, but they were happily and quickly reunited with him at the police station. And while child services has investigated, it appears no charges have been filed.

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Obviously a family trip to the corn maze with a huge group of siblings plus cousins, followed by a movie, are deviations from the normal routine. And as we've all heard in the horrific cases where babies are accidentally left in hot cars instead of dropped off at daycare, a change from the normal routine is a common way for a parent to make a major mistake. 

For many parents, it's really, really hard not to read about this case and think, BUT WHO LEAVES THEIR 3-YEAR-OLD IN A FREAKING CORN MAZE OVERNIGHT? However, not many of us know what it's like to have 14 kids to keep track of, so who are we to judge?

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