FOUNTAIN — After Fountain Police found Ashton Laymon, a 7-year-old boy who they say was kidnapped on the evening of July 30 and locked in shed, multiple people are facing charges.
"We definitely believe that because we got there and as fast as we got there that we saved something bad from happening that day," said Commander Mark Cristiani with Fountain PD.
Not only is the 28-year-old man accused of kidnapping Ashton facing criminal charges, but so is his mother.
According to the arrest affidavit, Ashton asked his mother the day he was kidnapped if he could sleepover at a friend's house, but would not tell his mother who it was. His mom reportedly told him no, but did not check to see if he was home from playing outside before she went to sleep.
She now faces a criminal child abuse charge.
"It's a misdemeanor charge, so it's not physically abusing the child, but it's lack of care and ... It's kind of a neglectful situation," said Cmdr. Cristiani.
After his mother was charged with child abuse, Ashton was allowed to return to her care after he was found.
"I'm not afraid to talk about this today and say, in our opinion, DHS didn't do everything they could that night."
Multiple community members have told News5 and police that they frequently saw Ashton walking through town and into stores without any supervision. Fountain PD says they believe Ashton has walked as far as eight miles by himself to the local Walmart.
"No 7-year-old should be doing that."
According to the El Paso County Department of Human Services, removing a child from their home is a last resort.
"The removal of a child from a home and their family is a traumatic event for a child and that's what we are trying to prevent is trauma to children," said April Jenkins, Children, Youth, and Family Services Manager with El Paso County.
Both agencies do agree that if you see something wrong, you should call them.
Fountain PD says if you see a young child wandering around unsupervised, then call your local law enforcement agency.
DHS encourages anyone to use the anonymous hot-line 1-844-CO4KID to report anything that seems suspicious.
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