Middletown police arrested a mother after her young daughter was found wandering alone in a parking lot Thursday.
Idhssaine Khadija, 32, of Plaza Drive in Middletown, was charged with risk of injury to a child.
Police said they responded to the Petco at 816 Washington Street around 11:29 a.m. after a report of an unattended child. When police arrived the caller was there with a child around 20 months old. According to police, the child was not wearing shoes and her feet were dirty from walking barefoot outside. It was 86 degrees outside at the time.
Police also noted the child’s diaper was full of pee, and she had some kind of rash on her legs and face.
The child could not speak so police began searching a nearby apartment complex for her family. Police found a woman, later identified as Khadija, walking around the complex parking lot with a four-year-old boy talking on the phone. According to the arraignment report, the woman “seemed to be in a state of panic.”
Officers asked the woman if she was searching for her daughter and she answered yes, the report states. The arraignment report said that when police told her the child had been found nearby, she “abruptly ran from the parking lot to her second floor apartment” and left her 4-year-old son behind.
Officers followed her upstairs and discovered another child, this one 2 months old, had been left unattended while Khadija searched for her daughter.
Khadija told police her daughter may have been missing from their apartment for several minutes before she released and began looking for her. She called her husband at work, but did not call police, the report said.
After establishing the situation, police determined the child was missing for approximately 35 minutes.
Police also questioned Khadija about the rash on her daughter’s face and she told them she had not taken the child to a doctor, according to the arraignment report.
The girl was acting lethargic and police suspected she may have been dehydrated, so she was transported to Middlesex Hospital for evaluation. Her mother remained at home with two other children. The child’s father picked her up from the hospital a short time later and returned home, at which point police arrested Khadija.
Khadija was released on a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Middletown court on Tuesday.