PEARLAND, Texas – A 5-year-old girl was placed into emergency custody with caseworkers from child protective services after being left at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant following her own birthday party Thursday evening.
Investigators said the child's mother didn’t realize her daughter, 5-year-old Azana Jackson, was missing until Friday morning. She called 911 after discovering Azana was missing while getting her children ready for school on Friday.
Authorities said the child's mother and another relative took her 10 kids and nine others to the Chuck E. Cheese in three separate cars Thursday evening.
At around 10:30 p.m., employees noticed Azana playing all alone in the restaurant so they called police. Brazoria County Sheriff's Deputy's responded and attempted to locate the child's mother, but were unsuccessful.
Two hours later, agents from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) took custody of the child.
"The mother was very upset, very emotional that she had left the child at Chuck E. Cheese," Brazoria County Investigator Jeff Mink said.
The Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office was investigating the case Friday night.
Mink said they want to know why the child was left behind, and why it took so long for the mother to contact them.
But, he said it was too soon to make a decision on whether charges would be filed.
"If she intended to leave the child behind, that would make it a criminal intent," Mink said.
DFPS is also investigating the incident. They will decide when – and if – the child can return to her home.