PD: Man leaves 3-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy home alone in Mesa apartment, boy found wandering

Cole Edward Klinefelter.jpg
Posted at 11:00 AM, Feb 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-04 13:57:00-05

MESA, AZ — A Valley man has been arrested after allegedly leaving two young children home alone at a Mesa apartment.

Mesa police report that around 10 p.m. Saturday night, neighbors who live at the complex near Extension Road and Southern Avenue found the 5-year-old boy wandering in the facility's parking lot.

Residents say the boy was screaming for his mother.

Police say neighbors found the boy's third-story apartment door open, with his 3-year-old sister inside.

The boy reportedly told residents that his "uncle," 24-year-old Cole Edward Klinefelter, went to the gas station to get something.

The children's mother returned home about 11:30 p.m. and allegedly told police that she left the children in the care of Klinefelter, her roommate.

Police say Klinefelter returned about 12:30 a.m. heavily intoxicated. He allegedly admitted to drinking and smoking marijuana. He also reportedly agreed that he was supposed to be watching the children.

He reportedly told police, "In my head, I was there, so it was like I never left."

Klinefelter was arrested for child abuse and endangerment.