Father charged after child found alone in Newport News

Marselis Johns. Credit: Newport News Police Department. Image courtesy of WAVY.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A father in Newport News is facing a child neglect charge after his child was found alone in the median of Jefferson Avenue.

Police say officers were called to Buchanan Drive and Jefferson the morning of Aug. 30 and found the 4-year-old child alone and unharmed.

Officers then four apartment complexes in that area, but could not find the child’s parents. Child Protective Services then took custody of the child.

More than three hours after officers were dispatched, police responded to 1400 block of Ventura Court to meet with the babysitter. Officers talked with a 17-year-old girl who was visibly distraught at the time.

She told police she is a friend of the family and provided a name and contact for the child’s father. According to the teen, she had gone upstairs for some money but found the door open and the child was gone when she went back downstairs.

Marselis Johns, 31 of Newport News, was eventually charged as a result of an investigation.

Police say when he dropped off the child that day, he did not check to see if anyone was home and did not lock the door.

Johns has been charged with child neglect.

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