Police in Southern California are asking the public for help finding a mother who they say is captured in surveillance footage abandoning her daughter at a grocery store.
On Monday, Riverside police released footage taken Sunday evening that shows an adult woman enter a Food 4 Less in Riverside with her 2-year-old daughter.
While inside the store, the toddler wandered off, but cops say the mother never sought out the child’s whereabouts and continued shopping.
When the mother was shopping, a good Samaritan brought the child to her and the mother responded, “Oh, just leave her.” The mother deserted the toddler after paying for the groceries, according to a release from Riverside police.
"It appears the toddler was intentionally left in the store by the mother. The small child was able to identify the woman as her “mommy” when she was shown a photo from the surveillance footage," the statement said.
The girl has since been placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.
The mother is described as an unknown race female, 20 to 30 years old with dark hair. She was last seen wearing a black or dark tank top and denim shorts. It appears she may have portions of her right arm covered in tattoos.
Detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying the woman. Anyone who recognizes her is urged to contact Detective Paul Miranda at (951) 353-7945 or firstname.lastname@example.org.