GREENBUSH, Maine — A Greenbush man was arrested Sunday night after his 2-year-old daughter was found unattended along Cards Ridge Road.
The girl was climbing over a guardrail when a local couple, who preferred not to be identified, spotted her about 7:30 p.m.
After fetching the toddler from the guardrail, the couple said they knocked on the door of a house about 175 feet away — which turned out to be her home — and got no response.
The guardrail runs between a small bridge and a roughly 10-foot drop that leads to a small brook, Trooper Adam Gould of the Maine State Police said.
Seeing no one who might be watching her in the area, the couple took her to the home of a friend who lives close by and called police. The wife fed the child graham crackers and water while waiting for personnel from the Maine State Police and the Maine Warden Service to arrive.
“I couldn’t imagine that no one was looking for her,” the wife said. “I know we had her for at least an hour.”
Adam Belyea, 31, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, Gould said. He made an initial court appearance Monday at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
Because the child’s mother is not living in the household, the child was released to her grandmother, the trooper said.
Belyea remained behind bars on a probation hold Monday night, a jail official said. His bail was set at $100 cash.
Gould said it was not clear exactly how long the little girl had been outside her home but that Belyea told him that he had put the child down for a nap about 4 p.m.
Before taking a nap of his own, Belyea smoked some of the marijuana police found when they arrived, Gould said. He said Belyea finally woke up when a game warden entered the house.
Gould said that it appears that the little girl let herself out of the house. The front door was open and the latch of the storm door was loose so he said it is possible that the girl was able to open it herself.
The couple who spotted the little girl said the toddler was wearing only a T-shirt and a diaper and that she was covered with dirt.
The trooper said the little girl, who was carrying a doll when she was found, was not injured, though she did have some insect bites.
The husband, who is a search and rescue volunteer with Down East Emergency Medical Institute, said that there were a few tense moments because the little girl was pointing down the embankment on the other side of the guard rail and saying “Bubba, Bubba.”
Because it was not immediately clear whether she was referring to another child or an injured adult who might be in need of rescue in the heavily wooded area, the husband called DEEMI, which was conducting a training exercise in nearby Old Town and immediately deployed a search team and a Humvee, Richard Bowie, the organization’s director of operations, said Monday.
Law enforcement officials and volunteer searchers later were told by the child’s grandmother that Bubba is the name of a pet cat.
According to the Bangor Daily News archives, Sunday’s arrest was not Belyea’s first brush with the law.
Belyea’s criminal history dates to at least early 2001, when at the age of 19 he was fined $100 for criminal trespass, according to a Presque Isle District Court listing.
In the fall of that year, Belyea was one of two people charged in connection with the armed holdup of Penobscot General Store in Waldo County, according to published reports.
After pleading guilty to the crime in May 2002, Belyea was sentenced to eight years in prison with all but 4½ years suspended, six years of probation and $1,000 in restitution. In June of 2008, however, Belyea was sentenced to 30 days in jail for robbery and his probation was partially revoked, according to a Waldo County Superior Court listing.
In November of 2011, Belyea, whose address was listed as Brewer, was fined $250 for theft by unauthorized taking or transfer.
His most recent encounter with law enforcement appears to have been in April of last year, when an Old Town police officer noticed that his vehicle lacked a valid inspection sticker.
When the officer pulled him over, there was an empty can he allegedly used to smoke marijuana with outside his car. Police said they believed Belyea, who was on probation at the time, tossed the can so it wouldn’t be found in his possession.