Toddler found wandering Redding in diaper leads to parents’ pre-dawn Father’s Day arrest
REDDING, Calif., — Authorities say an early morning 911 call reporting the discovery of a toddler found wandering city streets in Redding led to the arrest of the two-year-old boy’s parents after officers found the child and his siblings had been living in “absolutely deplorable living conditions” on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19th.
As a result of the early morning investigation and parents’ arrests, the toddler and his three siblings, ages nine, twelve and fifteen, were all placed into temporary protective custody with the assistance of the Children’s Services Branch of Shasta County Health and Human Services, according to officials.
City of Redding police officers responded to the 3100 block of Churn Creek Road around 5:57 a.m. after receiving a 911 call reporting an unattended two-year-old boy running up and down the road while wearing only a diaper and holding a bag of candy, Redding Police Corporal Aaron Hollemon later said of the incident and arrest.
Responding officers found the toddler in the arms of a Good Samaritan who had seen the child running near the roadway and stopped to help, according to Holleman.
“The toddler was shivering and cold to the touch from the cooler morning temperature … and his lack of clothing, but appeared otherwise fine,” Holleman said, explaining that temperatures at the time were reported to be around 60 degrees.
Although the child appeared to be safe and healthy, he was transported by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center as a precaution, according to Holleman.
As their investigation was getting underway, officers learned of several prior reports within the past year of the same unattended toddler being found wandering away from his residence under similar circumstances. The prior reports led officers to the toddler’s residence in the 1100 block of Bond Street, which was approximately a quarter mile away from where he was found.
Once at the child’s Bond Street residence, officers contacted the toddler’s nine-year-old brother, who had been asleep on a couch in the living room. Officers then learned the children’s parents, Joshua Levi Gale Billing, 45, and Nicole Marie Shreve, 38, were “completely unaware” that their two-year-old toddler was missing from the residence, according to Holleman.
Inside the home, officers found living conditions that Holleman described as “absolutely deplorable”, with the floors and furniture dirty and covered in food and trash. Officers also found drug paraphernalia throughout the home, which appeared to be infested with insects.
Based on their investigative findings, officers arrested Billing and Shreve and both were later booked into the Shasta County Jail in Redding on suspicion of felony child endangerment.
Additionally, Billing was booked on suspicion of being a felon and prohibited person in possession of ammunition.
Their four children, two of whom were found to be staying at other Redding residences, were placed into temporary protective custody with the assistance of the Children’s Services Branch of Shasta County Health and Human Services. Their names were not released due to their ages.
Online jail records indicate both Billing and Shreve remain in custody in lieu of $10,000 bail or bond.
Anyone with further information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact the Redding Police Department at (530) 225-4200. Callers can refer to incident file number 22R038053 and can remain anonymous.
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Trevor Montgomery, 51, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and operates Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS). Both are stringer organizations, providing breaking news coverage and community interest stories for other mainstream media organizations throughout the two regions they serve.
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.