Texas toddler left at stranger’s house, instead of with dad

(Reuters) – A woman who intended to drop off a 2-year-old boy with his father instead left the toddler at the wrong address in suburban Houston and ran off after ringing the bell, police said late Thursday.

The woman who left the child, a friend of the mother, was initially suspected of child abandonment after video, shared widely on social media, showed her hoisting the toddler by the arm to a stranger’s house in the northern Houston suburb of Spring on Thursday, authorities said.

The child’s father later told detectives he had received a text message from the mother advising him that the child would be dropped off in the early afternoon by one of her friends. But when no one showed up, he thought the woman’s plans had changed and left his home for the night.

“The suspect in the video dropped the child off after the father had left the residence and at the wrong address,” Lieutenant Scott Spencer of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

“The female in the video then left location without verifying anyone was home or who she was releasing the child to,” Spencer said.

A woman who answered the door found the child alone who she had never seen before, along with two bags, the sheriff’s office said.

“The child is uninjured and appears to be in good health,” it said, adding that the toddler was in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Detectives were trying to reunite the child with his family. Their investigation was continuing and will be reviewed by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Additional reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Jeffrey Benkoe

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