A twist on ‘kidnapping’

Staff Writer

By tony senk

Staff Writer
I’ll just rest here under this tree
As peaceful as peaceful can be
Here I’ll sleep while I’ve paused
Despite the panic I’ve caused
Gosh! The whole town was looking for me!

That little ditty might serve as an introduction to the tale of a local 19-month-old tot with wandering feet. On a September night in 1937, young Roy Weeks Jr. put area fire companies, first aid squads and state troopers through a frightening four-hour search after he walked away from his home near the Scobeyville area of Colts Neck.

After much angst and fast heartbeats, the little boy was found safe and sound in slumber beneath a tree. Until then, however, it was a frantic Friday in Scobeyville Village.

First, members of the Atlantic Township Fire Company of Colts Neck started looking. Soon they were joined by Tinton Falls Fire Company members. Then the Eatontown First Aid Squad took up the search. So did state troopers who responded to calls for their services to hunt for the missing baby.

Roy Jr. was certainly a long way from home. His mom and dad had recently moved from Colts Neck to Morrisville, Pa., and they were back in the area visiting their friend, Allison L.S. Stern, at the house of George Sofield. That’s when Roy Jr. decided to create some excitement.

How the little boy got out of the house in the first place remains a foggy issue to this day, but, as always, the Red Bank Register shed its journalistic light on the story of the curious but tired tot.

The Register story read, "Just how it happened no one seems to know, but in some way the baby wandered from the Sofield residence grounds. Near the house is a steep bank, at the bottom of which a deep brook courses, and the worried parents feared that the baby had tumbled into the water and drowned. For this reason, the searchers directed their first attention to the brook. They walked along both sides and waded through it without seeing the child."

But, at about 11 p.m., when all little boys should be asleep, a member of the search party found young Mr. Weeks doing just that.

In fact, he was sound asleep beneath a tree in the woods about half a mile from the Sofield home.

Don’t you just love happy endings?