An apparent miscommunication between parents and a babysitter led to a 3-year-old child left alone and wandering the streets of Pontiac, according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

The little boy, who told officials his name is Ben, was found Tuesday morning walking on the sidewalk on Baldwin near Legrande. He was unable to provide his parents' names or address.

The child was taken to the sheriff's Pontiac substation while investigators returned to the neighborhood to canvass, officials said. They found a potential address around 1 p.m. on the 300 block of Baldwin, about two blocks from where the child was found.

There was no answer at the home, so investigators entered "to conduct a welfare check," according to a statement.

Inside, officials found a 16-year-old girl asleep in an upstairs bedroom. The girl was not the designated babysitter and was unaware that the child had been left at the home, officials said.

An initial investigation indicated that a babysitter was supposed to be at the home when the child was dropped off. The babysitter's location Tuesday was not immediately clear.

The teen was able to provide information leading to the boy's parents, a 40-year-old woman and 33-year-old man. The parents, both Pontiac residents, responded to the sheriff's substation around 1:30 p.m. to be reunited with their child.

"Child Protective Services was contacted and responded to the Pontiac substation where they took temporary custody of the (child) until all the facts can be sorted out," officials said. "The investigation continues."

Officials earlier on Tuesday released a photo of the child in an attempt to identify him. In the picture, the boy wore a red and black zip-up hoodie, matching pants and a golden sheriff's badge pinned to his chest.

hfournier@detroitnews.com

(313) 223-4616

@HollyPFournier

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