Grandmother Arrested After 3-Year-Old Is Found Wandering

A Willimantic grandmother was arrested after her 3-year-old granddaughter wandered from home, alone, with no shoes on, as her grandmother slept on Tuesday morning, according to police. 

Police said Kim Martinez, 47, of Spring Street in Willimantic, had fallen asleep and her granddaughter unlatched the back door and walked out.

A police officer who was passing by Valley Street around 8:30 a.m. found the little girl several blocks away from her home, picked her up and brought her to police headquarters. She had been gone around 15 minutes when the officer saw her, according to police.

When Martinez realized her granddaughter was gone, she called 911 and police charged her with risk of injury to a minor when she arrived at the police station. 

“The child was well-groomed, motivated, didn't have any shoes on," Cpl. Stanley Parizo Jr., of Willimantic Police said. "It was chilly this morning, but we can't have a child that far away from home without supervision. We’re talking walking about two different blocks onto a busy thoroughfare here in the city.”

One of the grandmother's friends said this was merely an accident.

“Kids are kids and they're curious by nature," Angel Roon, a family friend said. "She’s a loving grandmother. She loves all her grandsons. When I go to visit her sometimes she'd be there taking care of the kids.... It was just a mistake. They shouldn’t put them in jail and take her baby from her. It could happen to anybody," 

Paula Burkett, of Willimantic, said Martinez should have been awake if the child was awake.

"Well, if nobody would’ve stopped, it would’ve got hit and then it would’ve been a lot more worse," she said.

Martinez was released on a $1,000 bond and is due in Danielson Superior Court on Oct. 29. 

Spring Street and Valley Street run parallel and are a block apart.

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