Mother of wandering 2-year-old girl arrested


by Tami Hoey

Video report by Crystal Cruz

Posted on June 12, 2013 at 7:46 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 13 at 11:56 AM

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PHOENIX -- The mother of a 2-year-old girl found wandering in an Anthem neighborhood has been arrested.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says that Nichole Hockett, 22, was arrested on a class 5 felony charge related to child abuse and endangerment. The arrest follows an investigation into what led to Hockett's 2-year-old daughter being found wandering alone in a dark neighborhood.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said that Hockett allowed her child to leave unsupervised from the house where they were staying overnight on North National Trail in Anthem.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call at about 4:30 a.m. from someone who said the girl was in the street by herself.

Sheriff's deputies went door to door and used reverse 911, but could not find the child's mother until 7 a.m.

The sheriff's office also discovered that Hockett had previous involvement with CPS.

"This suspect's past history with CPS, combined with what happened in the early morning hours today, clearly shows that she is an unfit mother," Arpaio said. "The child is better off being cared for by someone else until her problems are dealt with by a court of law."

Hockett was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail after being arrested late Tuesday afternoon. The little girl is in CPS custody.