Phoenix PD: mom arrested after leaving toddler alone in park

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(Source: Phoenix Police Department) (Source: Phoenix Police Department)

Phoenix police have arrested a 36-year-old woman accused of leaving her 2-year-old daughter alone in Solano Park, near 17th Avenue and Montebello, on Friday afternoon.

Witnesses flagged down officers and told them three women with children in the park left in a white minivan without the little girl.

"She (toddler) was sitting in a swing crying," said Carlos Mejia, whose relatives also called police.

Officers searched the area for several hours, unsuccessfully, in an effort to find her parents or guardians.

They ended up calling Child Protective Services,  which now has custody of the child who was not hurt.

While CBS 5 News and several other media outlets were attending a briefing with Sgt. Steve Martos, the toddler's mother, 36-year-old Fredeana Collins,  showed up with a relative in a white SUV looking for the child around 6:15 p.m.

Mejia said he saw that same SUV circling the park while police were conducting their search hours earlier.

CBS 5 News actually captured the SUV on video, while interviewing Mejia, about a half hour before Collins got out of the vehicle.

"The mother of the child is not providing too much information," said Martos. "It's her cousin who's indicating they were here the entire time, while officers were searching for the parents or guardians. However, that is not going to be the case."

Martos handcuffed Collins when she refused to cooperate and tried to leave.

Both women were taken to police headquarters for questioning.

Martos said Collins has since been booked on a charge of child neglect and a city code violation of having alcohol at a park.

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