Police: Toddler found wandering busy street while mother went to buy car


A Florida woman is facing a child neglect charge after police said she left her 3-year-old boy at home alone before he was found wandering a busy street in Orlando.

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Police responded to East Jackson Street and Summerlin Avenue on Wednesday when a man called to say he found a child in the street and that the child was nearly hit by a car.

The man stayed with the boy at a nearby dog park until police arrived.

Esther Leefatt, a man and another child pulled up in a Jeep as police spoke to the boy, and Leefatt told police she was the child’s mother.

She explained to the officer that she left the boy strapped into a car seat in the living room of her home while she went to go look at a car to buy in Clermont.

A report said Leefatt told police she asked her neighbor to check on the child and the neighbor said she would.

Leefatt said the neighbor later called her and said the child was missing, so she came home, according to a report.

The neighbor told police Leefatt informed her she was going to Clermont, but there was never an agreement to watch the child. When the neighbor went to go check on the child anyway, because it had been four hours, she noticed the front door was open and the child was missing, police said. She called Leefatt.

The neighbor’s roommate told police that a week earlier, the boy had gotten out of the home and wandered into a nearby bar.

Leefatt was arrested and is facing one count of child neglect.

Her children are in the custody of the Department of Children and Families.

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