Police: Toddler abandoned at Wal-Mart

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Richard Essex/Eyewitness News

Clinton County - Police say a toddler was abandoned at a Frankfort Wal-Mart store Friday.

Frankfort Police say the boy, named Martin, was found wandering the aisles of the Wal-Mart fabric section early Friday afternoon. A note in his backpack, apparently written by his mother, explained that she could no longer care for the two-year-old and that she hoped someone would provide a home for him. The note alluded to financial problems.

"We would like to reunite this kid with his family. It's got to be very tragic for him, he is only two years old and in a strage place. He doesn't recognize anyone," said Frankfort Police Detective Jeff Ward.

Also in the backpack with the note was a bottle and diapers. In the note, which was written in Spanish, the mother says that the father had left her, according to Frankfort police.

"She said she had no means to feed the child. Had no place for him to live," said Randy Emery, deputy police chief in Frankfort, about 20 miles southeast of Lafayette.

While the note said the boy's name was Martin, the foster parents told police he doesn't answer to that name.

"There has to be someone out there, other than who dropped him off, that is related to this boy and we would like to find out who they are and make contact with us and find out what is going on here," said Det. Ward.

Store employees brought the boy into their security office after they found him wandering around Friday afternoon. Several attempts to locate his mother over the loudspeaker were unsuccessful.

"When they were looking for the mother, you could hear on the PA system they had the child in the customer service area," said Dr. Sam Powers.

Child Protection Services is caring for the boy, and police are trying to find the mother. Officers are watching surveillance camera recordings and looking for witnesses who saw the woman at the store.

"Who ever found the child, that they were not capable of caring for the child and they couldn't care for the child any longer and they were afraid the child was going to starve," Det. Ward said.

Emery said police would like to offer help if she comes forward.

"I know this was probably a very hard decision to leave this child," he said.

Police believe the parents of the boy are from Guatemala and moved to Frankfort a year ago. They say they may now be on the road again.

"You know, these are hard times in Frankfort and our Hispanic populations moves around quite a bit," said Dr. Powers.

Anyone who may recognize the boy or know his parents is being asked to call Frankfort Police.