110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Joe Crews
posted Apr 23, 2014 - 10:50:26am
When a boy about 3 or 4 years old was found wandering near State Road 11 north of DeLand one recent morning, it eventually led to the arrest of the boy’s babysitter on child neglect charges.
The boy, whose name was redacted in a Sheriff’s deputy’s report and a charging document, was found the morning of April 14 wearing a shirt and underwear, but no pants or shoes. The man who found the boy told deputies he stayed with the child to keep him safe until they arrived.
A canvass of the area didn’t reveal his family or where the child lived, so the boy was taken to Sheriff’s district headquarters in DeLand, where the Department of Children and Families was notified.
Several hours later, Teresa Maldonado flagged down a deputy and reported the child missing. Maldonado, 39, had been taking care of the boy at her Robinhood Drive residence when she said the toddler slipped out the front door without her knowledge, Sheriff’s deputy Brandon Goggin wrote in a report. Although Maldonado knew the boy had been gone for more than an hour, she “did not think to call his parents or the police.”
Maldonado was taken to district headquarters, where she identified the toddler as her charge. Although she said she didn’t normally watch him, his parents said Maldonado had taken care of him a number of times, according to a report by Sheriff’s investigator Seth Amrhine.
The boy was returned to his parents.
Maldonado’s timeline accounts didn’t match those of the boy’s parents or when the boy was found, Amrhine reported, and she didn’t call 9-1-1 to report him missing, so Amrhine determined she should be charged with child neglect.
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