Florida mom forgets 3-year-old child in Publix parking lot, deputies say

Cars nearly hit abandoned child

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. – A 3-year-old child was left wandering around a Publix parking lot Thursday evening after the mother forget her child at the store, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office said.

Witnesses at the Port St. John grocery store called authorities around 7:20 p.m. to report that the cars were nearly hitting a child who was roaming the parking lot alone.

"Several witnesses said they had almost hit the kid because the kid was wandering through the parking lot," Sheriff Wayne Ivey told News 6 Friday.

Deputies tried for 45 minutes to find the child's parents until Stacy Sifuentes, 36, arrived at the scene and said she was the child's mother, according to the affidavit. Sifuentes smelled of alcohol and seemed lethargic, deputies said.

"The mom wreaked of alcohol, had really no idea how her child was left in the parking lot," Ivey said.

The mother told deputies that she realized the child was missing when she returned home and her father asked her where the child was, the report said. She returned to Publix to find the child.

"Don't get me wrong, there's probably not a parent out there that hasn't had that sick feeling where they momentarily lost sight of their child and we all know how that feels," Ivey said. "This was not that feeling. This was simply, didn't have enough faculties about her to know that she had even abandoned her child."

Sifuentes is charged with felony child neglect without great bodily harm.

She was booked in the Brevard County Jail Thursday night and was released on a $2,000 bond.

Her next court date has not been set.

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