A woman left a 2-year-old boy on a stranger’s porch in Texas in an incident that was captured on camera and covered widely by local media.
A woman found the toddler about 8:20 p.m. Wednesday in front of her home in the northern outskirts of Houston, officials said. The child’s father lives nearby.
A friend of the child’s mother was supposed to drop the child off with the father in the afternoon, but the father had left after the child didn’t arrive, Lt. Scott Spencer said in a statement Thursday. The woman is believed to have been tasked with taking care of the boy while his mother was in a hospital, the Houston Chronicle reported.
A woman answered a knock at her door to find the small boy standing there alone and called 911, Spencer said. Sheriff’s deputies canvassed the neighborhood, knocking on every door nearby, including the father’s, officials told reporters, according to the Chronicle. The father was not at home at the time.
The toddler was in the custody of Child Protective Services and waiting to be reunited with his family.
Video taken by the home’s security system captured the woman dropping the child off. She carries the boy up to the door by his arm, rings the doorbell and knocks on the door before running away.
The child’s father, Willie Simmons, spoke to reporters on Thursday.
“If that was her child, she wouldn’t have left him,” he said, according to the Chronicle. “Just imagine if my nice neighbors weren’t there. My son would have wandered in the street and got hit."
The sheriff’s office said it had identified the woman who left the child but that it had not spoken to her yet.
A spokeswoman for Child Protective Services told the Chronicle that the child was “safe, healthy, no signs of abuse and is happy,” and that the department was investigating the circumstances around his care.