You know those coffee mugs and T-shirts that say, "World's Greatest Dad"? Well, Steven Cross has to turn his in, right after he turns himself in for leaving his 11-year-old boy to fend for himself.
Dakota County has issued a warrant for Cross, who is alleged to have ditched out on the boy after he ran out of money and couldn't find a job. That is, he was so sick of letting his son down, he thought he'd just let him take over. Apparently that's not just stupid, it's illegal.
Cross, who was last known to be somewhere in southern California, is facing a single gross misdemeanor charge of child neglect.
Cross left a letter to his son, explaining why he was leaving him, and told him to walk over to a neighbor's house for help. The boy did, but, for pretty obvious reasons, was crying by the time he got there.
The note Cross, of Lakeville, left for his boy is absolutely tragic, and is quoted in full in the Dakota County criminal complaint.
If this paper is wet it's because I am crying so bad. You know your dad loves you more than anything. This economy got (illegible) there are no jobs for architects so I have to go because the sherriff (sic) will take the house July 27th. There will be no more me... Some good news is your mother is still alive. Though I do not think it is for the best. Give these letters to [the neighbor]. Do not open them. I hope they get to give you a chance. There are many many great years ahead for you. Not so for me.That's awful enough. It actually gets worse. In late July, Cross sent an e-mail to an ex-girlfriend, which she's since sent to police, and is also included in the complaint.
I had to walk away from (child). So awful the house is gone... I drove to Carmel with nothing. I sleep on the street. ... Please call (child) and see if he picks up his cell phone at this number please if so send me a message I probably only have a couple of days... No one I called would help me... I didn't know what to do. I am scared and hopelessly depressed but (child) needs to know I did my best to get to (sic) graduate from grade school and I love him. Please do this for me...Here is the number. You know I love you too. Please if he answers write me a note.All right, this is officially the saddest story ever. Notes like this don't portend well for Cross's mental health, and they certainly hurt his case as an innocent man and a good dad.
Cross's e-mail was sent from a library in Carmel, California, and a search of his computer indicates he might have booked a few nights in a hotel in Morro Bay in early August. California cops are on the case, but haven't found him yet.