Toddler found outside covered in feces in Surprise; mother arrested

A 2-year-old boy was outside for an hour in the summer heat covered in animal feces in Surprise and his mother is under arrest.
Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 2:50 PM MST
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SURPRISE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A woman has been arrested for child abuse after a young boy was found alone outside, covered in animal feces. Around 5 p.m. on Thursday, officers responded to a call of a toddler walking by himself on a sidewalk in a neighborhood near Litchfield and Waddell roads. Police arrived and found the 2-year-old boy, who was wearing only a diaper and pants. The temperature was 102 degrees and officers said the child’s body was covered in what appeared to be animal feces “from head to toe.”

“The first thing I saw when I looked down the street was a baby, a young baby with no clothes on. He had pants on but I saw there was a young child,” Angela Aspenson said. “I saw the young child start to run into the street, so I said, ‘We got to go down there,’” she continued. Aspenson said she and her son knocked on a few neighbors’ doors, hoping to return the child to his parents but no one seemed to know where he lived. That’s when she called the police. “The baby had scratches on its arms and legs and everything and was really dirty. Hair dirty, fingernails, and feet. Obviously had been running about for awhile,” she said.

Aspenson assumed the boy was covered in dirt from being outside. “I put him inside my car and he was like air, air and he was smiling like finally it was cool,” she said. Police said it took an hour before the boy’s mother, 29-year-old Cheyenne Lenae Finney, came outside looking for him. Officers then went to that house, where the front door was open. Inside, police say they found feces and urine throughout the home from five dogs and two cats that live there. “They (the conditions) were horrible, dog feces, the smell of urine, one officer describes it as in her report that her feet were sticking to the floor,” Sgt. Tommy Hale with Surprise Police said. “It’s just a sad thing when you see a child living in this kind of conditions,” he explained.

Fenney was arrested for child abuse and taken into custody. During the investigation, police spoke with one of Fenney’s other children, an adult who also lives at the home. He told investigators that Fenney leaves the toddler to care for himself as she stays in her room all day until he comes home to take care of the boy. The child was evaluated and given medical attention before being turned over to the Department of Child Safety.