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Mom arrested after 3-year-old found wandering in Orlando, police say

Esther R. Leefatt arrested on charge of child neglect

ORLANDO, Fla. – A 35-year-old Orlando woman was arrested Thursday after a 3-year-old child was found wandering in traffic and was nearly struck by a vehicle, according to police.

Esther R. Leefatt was arrested on a charge of child neglect.

Orlando police said they were called to East South Street and Summerlin Avenue after a man said he had found a child wandering into traffic. The man told officers that the child was almost struck by a vehicle, so he took the child to a nearby dog park, police said.

The child told police his name and pointed to where he lived, police said. A Jeep then pulled up and a woman, identified as Leefatt, said she was the child's mother, police said.

Leefatt told police that she had asked a neighbor to watch her children while she went to look at a car in Clermont, according to authorities. The neighbor told police that Leefatt informed her that she was going to pick up a car and would be right back, but she said Leefat never asked her to check on the children, officials said.

After four hours, the neighbor said she texted Leefatt that the child was missing, according to police.

Leefatt was arrested and taken to jail. Her children were placed in the custody of the Department of Children and Families.


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