Witnesses: Boy was close to traffic

Father of toddler expected to make first court appearance today

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COEUR d'ALENE - Witnesses said Monday the 2-year-old boy found near Sully's Pub Sunday afternoon had wandered dangerously close to traffic on Government Way and that at least two motorists stopped to check on the tot.

Police Sunday afternoon arrested the boy's father, 36-year-old Jesse W. Edwards, at the Hayden Walmart more than two miles away. He was taken to Kootenai County jail as authorities investigate for child endangerment.

"(The boy) was really close to Government Way," said Valerie Horn, owner of The Grind Espresso. "He kept getting really close."

She was at the stand, which sits in front of the Co-op Supply and Cenex station a half block north of Sully's, Sunday when the boy wandered up to the busy roadway looking for his dad. She said it appeared the boy was looking back behind himself to see if a parent was following or nearby.

She said she saw a couple vehicles stop to check on him.

Virginia Griggs, a manager at Sully's, was working Sunday and brought the boy into the bar and grill after he was found just outside. She said the boy likely wandered from a trailer park just west on Park Avenue.

She said the boy told police his mother was at work and he couldn't find his dad.

"He wasn't unhappy," Griggs said. "He looked like a little boy who had been playing outside."

Police officers interviewed the boy inside Sully's while he snacked on chips. He told police his father's name and helped them identify Edwards.

Police reported Sunday that the boy, identified as Jake Edwards, had wandered into Sully's, at 5785 N. Government Way, about 12:30 p.m.

The blond, blue-eyed boy was wearing a blue and green Batman pajama top, a blue coat, dark blue sweatpants, and black boots with characters from the movie "Cars" on them, according to police.

"He was wearing a diaper when found that appeared to have not been changed for a while," a news release said.

Idaho State Police contacted Jesse Edwards by cell phone and confirmed Jake Edwards was his son.

Police located Jesse Edwards at the Hayden Walmart.

"Officers stated that he appeared to be under the influence of a substance," the news release said. "Edwards offered no explanation about how he became separated from his child."

Capt. Curtis Kastens, a spokesman for ISP, said Monday the investigation and incident report were not complete and ISP couldn't provide any more details.

ISP made arrangements to turn custody of the child over to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Jesse Edwards is likely to make his first court appearance in Kootenai County today.

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