Child found in Phoenix park; police search for her parents - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

2-year-old found in Phoenix park; child's mother returns 5 hours later

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Credit: @andrewfox10 "Woman in cuffs says she is mom of child left in Phoenix's Solano Park. @SgtMartos here to detain woman." Credit: @andrewfox10 "Woman in cuffs says she is mom of child left in Phoenix's Solano Park. @SgtMartos here to detain woman."
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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

Authorities say a woman has been arrested after a toddler was apparently abandoned at Solano Park near 17th Avenue and Montebello.

Phoenix police say bystanders flagged down an officer about 2 p.m. Friday after they found the 2-year-old girl all alone. 

"This little girl was playing on the swings and she was crying," said Carlos Mejia, a witness.  "We sat out here probably 2½ hours waiting with the police and then a CPS vehicle came out here and picked up the kid."

"Officers were flagged down by citizens in the area indicating there were three adult Hispanic or Native Americans with other children in the park. The adults left with other children leaving this child behind. The females left the area in a white mini van," stated Sgt. Steve Martos.

Police searched the area for several hours, but were unable to find the child's parents.  The little girl was then placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Around 6:30 p.m., two women showed up at the park to claim the child. Authorities say one woman was arrested and the other woman was questioned by police.  One of them told police they had been at the park the entire time.

"That doesn't add up.  Officers were here for a period of time.  At least two to three hours in addition to that, we took this child and gave custody to CPS.  I think any normal adult or guardian would have stopped and said we are the parents of this child," said Martos.

Mejia says he recognized the women's white car. 

"That vehicle passed by twice," he said.  "If you are going to slow down, stop and take a look, why not go and pick up the kid if it was an honest mistake.  All of this could have been avoided. It shouldn't have gone down like this.  I am glad that they came forward."

The arrested woman has been identified as 36-year-old Fredeana Collins.  Police say she will be booked on child neglect and a city violation for having alcohol in the park.

Authorities still don't know why the child was abandoned.

"Right now, we are trying to sort out what their story is.  What they have provided us.. at least initially.. it does not make sense to us," said Martos.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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