It began at 9:00 a.m. on Monday when the boy was found wandering alone in the 1600 block of Bridge Street, a busy block across from SEPTA's terminal.
"The officers found him, waited in that immediate area for a period of time; no one came out to find this youngster. He was taken to Frankford Aria Hospital, he was very clean, had a clean diaper, so we believe that someone very close to him was in that area," Lt. Ray Evers of the Philadelphia Police Department said.
Police say the child was gone all day before a relative saw the child's picture on Action News at 6 and called police.
The 21-year-old mother and the child's grandmother tried to hide their faces from news cameras Monday night, apparently embarrassed by the whole incident.
According to police, the mother says she dropped her child off at the grandmother's house on the 1700 block of Bridge earlier in the morning.
The grandmother says she told the child to go to sleep before she dozed off herself.
When she awoke, the child was gone and she figured the mother had picked him up.
"It's a misunderstanding, they just turned their back for a second, I don't think they meant to do it, it just happened," the boy's grandfather Vincent Ford said.