Naked toddler with bloody nose, bruised face found wandering Florida street, cops say

  • In US
  • 2022-08-12 11:35:17Z
  • By Miami Herald

A naked, bruised and bleeding toddler was found wandering the streets of a Florida neighborhood, according to the Ocala Police Department.

It happened at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, in southwest Ocala, about 80 miles northwest of Orlando, officials said.

"The call came from a United States Postal Service worker, who found a naked toddler in the roadway, unsupervised," the police department said in a news release.

"Two additional witnesses were driving behind the USPS mail truck and also observed the child in the street. ... The toddler had several scratches on the body, a bruise near the right eye, and a bloody nose. The child was also covered in sand."

Marion County Fire Rescue was called to take the child to a hospital after one "witness provided the child with a T-shirt to wear," police said.

A search was launched in the neighborhood to find the child's home, eventually leadin police to "a house with two doors left open."

"Outside this house were dirty diapers, car seats in the yard, and a baby stroller on the porch. Officers suspected this to be the house where the child lives," police said. "Officers did not receive any response after knocking several times and calling out their presence. Fearing that something could be wrong inside, the officers entered the residence for a well-being check. The toddler's parents, along with an infant child, were found sleeping."

The couple told police they left the toddler in the care of a 33-year-old woman who also lives in the home. However, she was nowhere to be found, police said.

Investigators called the woman, who revealed she had "texted the child's mother earlier that morning that she was leaving the house to go to the store."

"When (she) left ... she failed to verify that the child would be taken care of," police said.

Police arrested the woman and charged her with child neglect-without great bodily harm.

Details of how the child sustained multiple injuries were not revealed.

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