A babysitter has been charged with child neglect after a toddler was found walking on the side of a busy street, according to Volusia County deputies.
A witness notified deputies on Tuesday morning when he saw a child around the age of 3 or 4 walking on the side of State Road 11 in DeLand. The child was only wearing a T-shirt and underwear, according to a police report.
The witness stayed with the child until police arrived to ensure the child’s safety. Deputies say the child spoke very little English, but was in good health aside from being fearful of being alone.
After the child was taken by the Department of Children and Families, deputies continued to search for the child’s residence. They were flagged down in front of a home on Robinhood Drive by Teresa Maldonado, who told the officers through a translator that she was the boy’s babysitter.
She also told police that the boy had let himself out of the house while she was in the bathroom, and she attempted to contact his parents at work to no avail. She said that she did not think to contact police.
Maldonado told police that she had experience babysitting, but not with this particular child. Investigators spoke with the parents, who said they left their son with Maldonado on more than one occasion.
Maldonado was arrested on charges of child neglect, and was transported to the Volusia County jail shortly after.