RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Colby Dee Mattsson was on the clock Sunday night at Food 4 Less in Riverside and noticed a mother and daughter with the mother appearing depressed.

“I saw this lady and her daughter was running around and I said ‘Your daughter is running around crazy’ and she said: ‘Yep, she’s always doing that,’ ” Mattsson said.

Police say the mother is seen on security video checking out at the cash register and then leaving without her 2-year-old.

“She was just playing around and didn’t know better because she was very little. Everybody in the store was like: ‘Why is the child running around alone? Where is her mother?’ ” Mattsson said.

Investigators say a good Samaritan noticed the girl alone and brought her back to her mother but was told: “Oh, just leave her.”

Shoppers were stunned to hear the story.

“I wouldn’t even leave my teenager here, no, not at all,” Tamika Wilson said.

“If you’re not able to take of the child yourself, there are better options than leaving it here,” Diana Saucedo said.

The girl is now with Child Protective Services and Riverside police are looking for her mother. She appears to be in her 20s or 30s with long brown hair and tattoos. The child identified her mom by security video.

“We stopped it right on her mom and picked her up and said ‘Mommy?’ and got all like sad face and we all just looked at each other and our hearts broke,” Mattsson said.


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