Child found at abandoned house won't be returned to mother

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A toddler found alone Sunday night will not be returned to her mother, according to a Cuyahoga County spokesperson. Children and Family Services are looking for a relative who can care for the 14-month-old, or the child will be placed in foster care.

The mother has not been investigated by Children and Family Services before. For the time being, the girl will be placed with family or a foster family until another hearing to see where is the best and safest place for the child.

"I was shocked, I jumped straight up off my couch. I'm so sorry to hear that," said neighbor Rosie Malone.

Neighbors along 78th street near St. Clair on Cleveland's east side were horrified to hear that the little girl was found alone at an abandoned house, in nearly freezing weather.

"Oh my god. It's a shame," said neighbor JoAnn Colman.

The girl, dressed in a winter jacket, was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center to be checked out, she was in good health.  While police and Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services searched for the girl's family, she was taken care of by temporary foster parents.

"I looked at the picture and I saw the little kid, it was a nice looking kid. Had a little jacket on," Malone said.

Neighbors looked carefully at the picture, but did not recognize her.

"Someone texted me because they know we stay on 78th street. They text me and asked, do you know this baby, or the baby parents? No," Colman said.

Just before midnight, the girl's mother called police saying she saw her daughter's picture on the news. The toddler stayed in foster care for the night until Children and Family Services could investigate what happened.

Anyone with information about this case should call 696-KIDS.

Cleveland Fifth District police and Children and Family Services are handling this case.

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