3TV speaks to Mesa mother arrested for leaving toddler home alone

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

MESA, Ariz. -- A Mesa mother has been arrested for allegedly leaving her two-year-old son home alone while she went to Walmart.

21-year-old Jessica Allyson Martinez was booked into the Mesa City Jail on one count of child abuse.

Monday evening, 3TV obtained a jailhouse interview with her about what happened. "He was probably only there for 15 minutes," she says about her son.

Officers were called to her Mesa apartment complex late Friday night, after a neighbor reported seeing a toddler climbing around on the balcony of an apartment, wearing only a dirty diaper. The temperature outside was only 40 degrees.

According to court documents, the toddler opened the door of the apartment for police. Officers checked the apartment but no parents or guardians were home.

Police say the boy appeared dirty and un-bathed, and was picking up pieces of a brown substance, which may have been feces, off the floor.

Officers were able to track down the mother. According to police reports, Martinez had gone to a Walmart about four miles away. She told police she had taken money and her car over to Walmart to drop them off with her boyfriend, who works at the store.

When asked if she thought the boy could end up on the balcony, she said no. "Our sliding door is very heavy and he's never opened it before," she told us.

Martinez says the boy was sleeping when she left, and she didn't think he'd wake up.

"I don't like that they gave me a child abuse charge," she says. "I would never hurt my son, because he's everything to me. I feel awful that I jeopardized his safe, secure world.  That's not what I wanted to do."

Martinez is due back in court Dec. 30 for a status conference. Her preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 31.

The boy was left in custody of his grandmother, The case has been referred to Child Protective Services.