A Newkirk, Okla., man was arrested July 5 by the Arkansas City Police Department in connection with an endangered child in northwest Arkansas City.
Jeffrey Lee Balthrop, 46, was arrested on suspicion of endangering a child. He was transported to and booked into the Cowley County Jail in Winfield in lieu of $1,000 bond through Cowley County District Court in Arkansas City. Balthrop since has posted bond and been released.
Police responded about 5 p.m. July 5 for a report of a small child who had been abandoned at Pershing Park, 1100 N. Second St. The child had been found by other children playing in the park.
After some time had passed, the 4-year-old girl followed the older children as they returned home.
An adult at one of the children’s homes saw the 4-year-old and contacted law enforcement.
The child was taken into protective police custody.
The young girl — who also had minor injuries to her face, legs and back — showed signs of exposure due to the extreme heat. The heat index posted at the time she was found was 111 degrees.
Law enforcement officers made numerous attempts to locate the 4-year-old’s parents, but were unsuccessful. Eventually, her father, later identified as Balthrop, came to the Arkansas City Police Department after she already had been in protective police custody for a period of time.
The child remained in protective custody and Balthrop was taken into custody by police.
Any witnesses to this incident are asked to call (620) 441-4444 and report any further information.
Those wishing to remain anonymous may contact Cowley County Crime Stoppers, which offers rewards of up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest.
Call (620) 442-7777 in Ark City or (620) 221-7777 in Winfield, or visit www.tipsubmit.com to make an anonymous report. An anonymous tip also can be submitted by texting ACTIPS to 847411.
This information was provided by City of Arkansas City Public Information Officer and Special Projects Coordinator Andrew Lawson.