5-Year-Old, Wearing Just Socks and Light Clothing, Carries 18-Month-Old Through Subzero Temperatures After Being Abandoned at Home in Alaska

Venetie, Alaska, a remote village about 150 miles north of Fairbanks, experiences extreme temperatures throughout the year.
Credit…Jim Wilson/The New York Times

A 5-year-old, wearing just socks and light clothing, carried an 18-month-old through subzero temperatures in the Yukon Flats of Alaska after the power went out at the home where they had been left alone, according to the authorities.

The power failure scared the older child, who then carried the baby to a home about half a mile away in Venetie, Alaska, on Tuesday, the Alaska State Department of Public Safety said in a statement on Friday.

At the time, the temperature was about 31 degrees below zero, officials said, and both children suffered unspecified injuries from the cold. It was not immediately clear how the younger child had been dressed.

The children are expected to make a full recovery, Ken Marsh, a department spokesman, said on Sunday.

To reach the remote community, which has a population of 166 and is nearly 150 miles north of Fairbanks in interior Alaska, troopers had to charter a plane, Mr. Marsh said.

“It took 12 to 16 hours for them to actually get there,” he said. “Fortunately, we were confident that the children were in good hands because a neighbor had taken them in and we had spoken with the neighbor.”

An investigation led to the arrest of Julie Peter, 37, who was charged with endangering the welfare of a minor, officials said.

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SOURCE: The New York Times, Aimee Ortiz