LANCASTER - A 35-year-old Lancaster man was arrested Thursday after deputies spent two hours searching for the father of a 2-month old baby boy who had possibly been abandoned by his father. | » POLICE NEWS

A concerned informant called deputies at the sheriff's Lancaster Station to tell the story of having picked up a man and a baby at 20th Street West and Avenue J about 1 a.m., and taking them to an alley near 13th Street West and Avenue I.

The caller told deputies that he had dropped the man off, driven home, and then became worried, and decided to go back to the alley and check on the baby.

He found the man -- later identified as Jimmy Cox -- but the baby was gone. When he asked Cox about the baby, Cox said he had taken to the baby to a relative's house.

Cox then asked him if he could help find the baby. But when the informant asked Cox if the baby was with relatives, Cox said "Oh yeah, I forgot." When the informant returned home, he decided to call the sheriff's station and report what had happened. Deputies went to the alley on 13th Street West, but could not find Cox.

Over the next couple of hours, they conducted a frantic search for Cox and the baby. They went to the shopping center where the informant had first seen the two. They obtained a picture from a security camera at one of the stores. They then went hunting for him, and found Cox in the area of 10th Street West and Avenue J.


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Cox told deputies he had taken the baby to his home in the 44100 block of Elm Avenue. There they found Cox and the baby's mother living in a shed attached to the rear of the garage. The baby appeared to be in good condition.

Nonetheless, because of the baby's living conditions, he was taken into custody by the county's Department of Children and Family Services.

Cox was arrested for suspicion of child endangerment and his bail was set at $100,000.

The baby's mother was not held.

The investigation is continuing.