Police arrest mother of toddler found alone outside - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Police arrest mother of toddler found alone outside

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Tuesday House Tuesday House

Kris Kirschner/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - The mother of a nearly one-year-old child found wandering a busy street now faces criminal charges.

Neighbors found the toddler walking on a sidewalk at 21st and Harding Saturday night. It took police over 24 hours to find her mother, 38-year-old Tuesday House.

A busy Indianapolis street after dark is where a little girl ended up after police say she was left alone.

"Mom left to go out, believed a friend of the family was there to watch the baby who was sleeping," said Sgt. Matt Mount, IMPD.

It was neighbors who noticed the toddler walking and crawling on a sidewalk along Harding street near 21st at about 8:00 pm Saturday night. They took her to a nearby store and called for help.

"We was knocking on every door trying to see whose baby it was," said Jimmie Cushingberry, witness.

But it wasn't until news reports showed the girl's picture that family members came forward. Uncle Eric Cosby, who said the little girl often stays at his home, was surprised to find she was missing.

He chalks it up to a big misunderstanding.

"I think she could have been more responsible, but I know she wouldn't have left the baby by herself," he said. "It's not what it looks like in the news. She didn't just leave and say, 'forget the baby.' She really though the baby was being taken care of by someone else."

But investigators consider this a much more serious case.

Early Monday afternoon, an interview with the girl's mother led to charges against her when she admitted to drinking and using cocaine the night her daughter wandered off.

Tuesday House told detectives when she left the house, a family friend was outside and the baby was asleep inside. But detectives say no arrangements were made to take care of the young girl.

"There was no prior communication between the mother and anyone else who was with the child," said IMPD Sgt. Paul Thompson.

House told police she returned home and found the child gone. But according to a police report, House left again even after she realized her daughter wasn't home.

Police believe House did not check on the welfare of her child and was not aware the girl was missing until the police knocked on her door Monday morning.

"The parents, whoever it is, need to go to jail," said Cushingberry.

The mother faces charges of D felony child neglect, while the little girl who wandered off alone is safely in the custody of the state.

"I talked to the father he's pretty distraught. He's a good father," Cosby said.

House works for the Indiana Family and Social Services Agency as a clerk, although she is employed through a temp agency.

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