Parents forget son, 5, at park

A St. Petersburg family accidentally leaves Largo Central Park without one of its 10 children. The boy is safely back home.

Published October 4, 2005

LARGO - The Roy family came to the city for a Sunday outing: a visit to Largo Central Park and its Bluegrass Strings and Crafty Things festival.

But the Roys accidentally left someone behind: 5-year-old Jonathan Roy, who was found wandering Largo Central Park looking for them.

Robert Roy told police he saw all 10 of his children heading toward their blue van when they left the park, Largo police Sgt. Ryan Dulski said.

"The dad said he saw them all following him and thought they got in," Dulski said.

But Roy, 53, and his family drove home to St. Petersburg without Jonathan.

About 2:16 p.m., Jonathan was found wandering the park.

Police tried to find his parents but had little to go on.

Jonathan wasn't sure of his parents' names and didn't know his address or phone number.

He did remember that he came to the event in a blue van, but officers had no luck running the license plates of similar vehicles in the parking areas.

Several announcements about the missing boy were issued over the loudspeaker but got no response. Police walked the park with the child for a bit, hoping to find somebody he recognized.

About an hour later, police brought Jonathan to the station.

After the Roys got home, it actually took them a little while to notice he was missing. They were getting ready for another outing when one of the children said Jonathan was seen on the couch after they got home, Dulski said.

But soon Jonathan's parents discovered he was not there at all.

They phoned the Largo Police Department.

"They realized they were short one and immediately called us," Dulski said.

The parents came to the station, and Jonathan was released to them, Dulski said.

No charges were filed, but, as part of police protocol, a child neglect report was generated and the Department of Children and Families was notified, Dulski said.

"The officers were relating it to that movie Home Alone ," Dulski said.

--Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Lorri Helfand can be reached at 727 445-4155 or lorri@sptimes.com