Canonsburg boy allegedly abandoned at Walmart by father

June 28, 2013

An arrest warrant has been obtained for a Canonsburg man accused of abandoning his 8-year-old son Thursday night at a South Strabane Township shopping center.

South Strabane police said Nathaniel T. Engott, 33, of 136 E. Pike St., left the boy at Walmart, Trinity Point, just before 8 p.m.

Personnel at the store told police that it was the second time the boy asked for help finding his father. About 7:30 p.m., the boy asked for assistance in finding his father. The boy indicated he hadn’t seen his father for about five minutes. When they paged Engott, he reappeared and took the boy.

Twenty minutes later, the boy returned and again asked for help in finding his dad. Engott was paged, but he never appeared.

The boy told police that after buying several items, his father went to the nail salon and had a pedicure. While Engott did that, the boy said he went into several stores at Trinity Point.

The two went to Moe’s for dinner, then waited at Walmart for a bus to return to Canonsburg. The boy told police that he was playing with his new penknife when he noticed his father was no longer with him. He said he went back to Walmart looking for help in locating his father.

Canonsburg police went to Engott’s home but were unable to find him. Neighbors told police that the 8-year-old and his 7-year-old brother often go to their homes, looking for food. Police also had received a previous report of the boy riding his bicycle in the very early morning.

South Strabane police said that as of Friday afternoon, Engott had not been located. Washington County Children and Youth Services was notified and placed the boy with a foster family. Earlier this month, police said Engott reportedly put the younger boy on a plane to Florida to live with his grandmother.

Police obtained the warrant on charges of endangering the welfare of children and disorderly conduct from District Judge Jay Weller.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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