Police: Too early to say if mom will be charged after leaving child with stranger

Steve Tawa
May 06, 2019 - 2:01 pm
Philadelphia Police Captain Sekou Kinebrew

Steve Tawa/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia police say it's too early to speculate whether a woman will be charged for abandoning her little girl in Kensington over the weekend. The special victims unit continues to investigate what happened.

When police first put out an alert to find the toddler, they released images and names of the mother and daughter. However, they have since found out the woman is not in danger, and the 18-month-old girl is reunited with her biological family, so police are walking back any identifications.

"She's not accused or charged with a crime, at this point," Police Captain Capt. Sekou Kinebrew said. "And there's no reason to identify the child any further, because quite possibly, depending on how this investigation goes, the child may wind up being classified as a victim of a crime, that being endangering the welfare."

Related: Police locate mother after baby girl is abandoned in Kensington

On Saturday morning, the mother asked a stranger to watch her baby.

"They didn't know each other, or certainly didn't know each other well," Kinebrew said.

Several hours later, when the mom didn't return that afternoon, that person flagged down a police officer. 

The child was checked out at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.

"The child did have some minor injuries, some lacerations to her forehead. We're still trying to determine how that happened, which will go to whether or not someone is going to be charged with a crime here. It's too early to say," Kinebrew said.

Kinebrew was asked whether the mother herself, or her little girl, were considered to be in danger when she left the toddler with the stranger.

"I can't get into the specifics of any witnesses' interview. I may be able to divulge more if and when criminal charges possibly get announced, but again, I don't want to speculate that that's even going to happen," Kenebrew said.

On Sunday afternoon, police located the mother on Kensington Avenue.

"They recognized her picture, and approached her, then took her to Special Victims for an interview," Kinebrew said. 

Asked if she was under the influence of drugs or any substances at the time, Kinebrew said, "At the time patrol officers encountered her, no."

Kinebrew says while they've talked to members of the biological family, to try to determine the background of the situation, he wouldn't repeat anything they said about the mother's personal life.