68ºF

Dad arrested after toddler found wandering alone

Toddler reunited with mother; Dad says he fell asleep

COCOA, Fla. – The father of a 2-year-old girl found wandering around a Cocoa neighborhood in a diaper and a T-shirt faces child neglect charges after telling police he had fallen asleep.

Police believe the child slipped out of the house while her father, Alex Verschoor, was sleeping around 8 a.m. on Wednesday after her mother left for work.

"I know that I locked the door my boyfriend must have been sleeping," said Veronica Berry, the child's mother. "I love my daughter and I would never let anything like that happen to her on purpose."

Juanita Mahegan said she was taking her kids to school when she saw the child in the middle of the street in a neighborhood near U.S. 1 and Donna Avenue.

"I'm thinking someone is gonna come out frantic looking for their kid and it never happened," Mahegan said. She said her daughter and the toddler played together until police arrived.

Police officers knocked on doors and visited area schools to try identify the child. It wasn't until Berry got a call from her mother-in-law that she even knew her daughter was missing. She said she picked up Verschoor and they came to the police station, where Verschoor was arrested.

Verschoor, is being charged with child neglect. DCF officials said they're working with the mother for find childcare.