Tampa, Florida (WFTS) — Tampa Police arrested a 22-year-old woman on neglect charges after she claimed she left a 2-year-old in the care of a homeless woman while she traveled out of state.
Police found the child on a second story landing, unattended, after concerned neighbors called to report it.
“If those neighbors hadn’t done the right thing and noticed that the child wasn’t being supervised, how long could that have gone on?” TPD spokesperson, Steve Hegarty, said.
It turns out, the child may have been unattended for hours and, if he wasn’t found, he could have been alone for days. The caregiver, Cotisha Long-Green was in Illinois. She told police she caught her flight early in the morning on Aug. 21 and didn’t return until late on Aug. 22.
“She made a claim that she left the child with someone else. She didn’t know their last name, didn’t know their phone number or anything like that,” Hegarty explained.
In fact, she says she met the woman on the street. She described the babysitter as a homeless woman she knew only as “Fe Fe” or Felecia. She told police Felecia may be an addict and that she knows for certain that Felecia smokes marijuana, because she has asked Long-Green for money to purchase the drug in the past.
Police say that story is still not completely clear because they have not been able to identify Felecia and no neighbors witnessed a woman with her description going in and out of Long-Green’s home.
Inside of the residence, police say they found a computer mouse with an attached cord tied to the bedroom door to keep it secure; however, there was a large enough gap for a child to get out.
Inside of the bedroom, police found a cheese type snack, a jug of iced tea, Gatorade, diapers and a Lunchable.
Police say if they do identify Felecia, she could face charges as well.