Local

Toddler found wandering alone at shopping center

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A mystery remains after a small boy was found abandoned at a northwest Harris County flea market Sunday night. His family has come forward, but investigators have tons of questions. Child Protective Services wants to know how the boy got to Traders Village on Eldridge and why he was left there.

After the 17-month-old boy had his picture plastered all over television and social media, he was reunited with his family.

The story began Sunday evening at the Traders Village flea market, where marketing director Carl Foy says thousands of people were shopping.

"Incredible that someone would just leave him there," he said.

Around 6pm, a couple spotted the boy holding his bottle alone in the crowd. They notified security, who took the boy to the office.

"We made several announcements over the PA," said Foy. "Nobody ever turned up, ever claimed him."

That's when law enforcement and CPS were called in. Amazingly, still no one came looking for him. He spent the night at the 24-hour CPS facility.

But after CPS workers took pictures of a somber-looking toddler and released them to the media Monday afternoon, calls flooded in.

"They were sad, shocked when they realized," said Estella Olguin with CPS.

Among those calls was the parents.

"We've seen these kind of cases before where maybe one parent thought the other had him or the parent thought the other parent had him," said Olguin.

But the day ended on a happy note for the little boy, who was told he was going to his grandmother's house after a day amongst strangers.

"He was happy in the car and was finally eating more comfortably and seemed to be smiling a lot," said Olguin.

The boy and his four-year-old sister will be in the custody of their grandmother while CPS investigates the parents. The investigation could take up to 30 days. No word if any charges will be filed.
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