Harford County sheriff's deputies and Maryland State Police troopers responded quickly Thursday morning when calls came in about a 5-year-old boy standing near a busy highway in the Campus Hills/Churchville area east of Bel Air.
The calls started coming in around 6:40 a.m., according to Harford County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Monica Worrell. A caller saw the boy standing in his pajamas by Route 22 and Rhineforte Drive. Deputies and state troopers immediately responded to the scene, Worrell said.
The deputies and troopers then began knocking on doors and talking to neighbors, trying to identify who in the nearby development had young children, Worrell said.
Deputies were able to find the mother and returned the child, who appeared to have let himself out of the house.
There was nothing suspicious at the residence, Worrell added.
A woman e-mailed The Aegis Thursday morning about the incident, identifying herself as one of the drivers who stopped to call police when she saw the young boy, who was wearing sweat pants, a short sleeve shirt and shoes, she said.
Within minutes law enforcement, as well as paramedics, responded to the scene, she wrote.
Local responders were "fantastic," she wrote, adding that they were "extremely nice" and made the child "feel at ease."
The area where the boy was found is between the Campus Hills Shopping Center and Churchville. Route 22 between Bel Air and Churchville is one of Harford's most heavily traveled highways at most times of the morning, afternoon and early evening.