PHOENIX - Authorities said a woman has been taken into custody after a toddler was apparently abandoned at a Phoenix park.
Phoenix police said residents from a nearby apartment complex flagged down an officer about 2 p.m.. Friday at Solano Park near 17th and Monticello avenues after they found the 2-year-old girl all alone.
Carlos Mejia told reporters the little girl was wailing non-stop.
"Everybody noticed this little girl was by herself on the swing set, swinging there crying so we started asking questions to the people in the park if the little girl was theirs and they all said no," said Mejia.
Witnesses said two to three adult women appeared to leave the area in a mini-van with other children, but left the toddler behind.
Police said officers attempted to find the child's parents for several hours but were unable to and she was then placed in custody of Child Protective Services.
Over four and a half hours later around 6:30 p.m., two women showed up asking why police were at the park.
Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos, who was speaking to reporters at the time, then began to question the women to see if one of them was the girl’s mother.
Martos said 36-year-old Fredeana Collins told him she didn’t have to talk to him and was leaving.
That’s when Martos arrested Collins.
Police then began to question the two women, but said their stories weren’t matching up.
“It's a variety of different stories. The mother of the child is not providing too much information. It's the cousin that's saying they were here the entire time,” said Martos.
Yet, neither woman realized the child had been taken from the park hours earlier by CPS workers.
Police said they could smell alcohol on Collins and returned to the park to search her SUV.
“We found a little bit over a 12-pack of Bud Light. Open containers and half a 30-pack,” said Phoenix officer Brian Miller.
Police said the Collins is facing child neglect and city code charges for having alcohol in the park.