A mother in Maine is facing charges after she allegedly left her 17-month-old baby outside a Target in Massachusetts and drove away, officials said.
The toddler was discovered sitting in a shopping cart in the parking lot of a Target in Easton, Mass., by a shopper who called authorities at about 1 p.m. Saturday, Easton police said.
The child, who appeared to be unharmed, was looked at by Easton police and firefighters before he was taken to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton for further evaluation.
Witnesses told investigators they saw the child with two women and two men shopping inside the store.
Video surveillance showed the four adults leaving the area in a Toyota SUV.
Then at about 2 p.m., a man called Easton police saying that the child had been accidentally left in the parking lot.
The man and the boy’s mother, 27-year-old Taylor Purdue, said they were in Plymouth and were returning to Easton. Purdue later told detectives she had gotten into her vehicle thinking one of her friends had put her son into his rear-facing car seat, cops said.
Her friends drove in a separate car, while Purdue said she believed she was driving with her son to Plymouth, officials said. It was only when she arrived in Plymouth that Purdue realize her son was not in his car seat, authorities said.
Purdue was charged with abandonment or endangerment of a child. She is scheduled to appear in Taunton District Court at a later date, police said.
The Easton Police Department notified the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, which launched its own investigation.
Purdue was granted custody of her son that same evening by the Massachusetts DCF, in coordination with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, officials said.