On April 18 at 10:30 AM, Burlington police officers responded to the block of 100 North Willard St. for a report of a 4-year-old child who had come into a nearby store and had been outside all night in a vehicle.
Burlington police say they evaluated the child for exposure-related medical concerns. The overnight temperature was 33 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of 24 degrees Fahrenheit.
Witnesses stated the child walked into the store, crying, and asking for their dad. The child was wearing only shorts, a t-shirt, and winter boots with no socks. The child’s whole body was shivering, their teeth were chattering, they were cold to the touch, their lips were blue, and their nose, ear, and feet were red. Witnesses advised the child stated, “I’m looking for my daddy.” The witnesses wrapped the child in thick clothing to help warm them up.
Officers learned the father to the child was Caleb Holden, age 28. Police had responded at about 4:30 AM to an intoxicated male on Pearl St, just four-tenths of a mile from where the child was found. Holden was disorientated and trying to access a building. Holden was transported to University of Vermont Medical Center Emergency Department for exposure related medical concerns.
Police learned that Holden had been discharged from the hospital however was located sleeping in a family room in the Emergency Department’s waiting area.
Holden was taken into custody at the Emergency Department’s waiting area without incident. Holden was transported to the Burlington Police Department and later transported to the Chittenden County Superior Courthouse to be arraigned.
It is estimated the child was left unattended for a minimum of six hours. The child was later reunited with other members of the family. Caleb’s criminal history revealed 4 violation of Court Orders/Conditions (0 convictions), 8 Misdemeanor charges (2 convictions), and 2 Assaultive Charges (0 convictions). In 2018, Caleb was charged with Cruelty to a Child under 10 years old along with Careless or Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle.