RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Detectives Tuesday said they located a woman who appears to have abandoned her toddler while grocery shopping in Riverside and may charge her with felony abandonment.
Riverside police identified the woman as 31-year-old Chiengkham Vilaysane and found her at a bank just before 5 p.m. They say she has mental health issues along with drug and alcohol problems.
“The little girl is in good health good spirits, she’s a little shaken up by what’s been going on,” Det. Paul Miranda said. She has since been placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.
The incident unfolded just before 6 p.m. Sunday at a Food 4 Less store in the 4200 block of Van Buren Boulevard.
“While inside the store, the toddler wandered off,” Miranda said. “The mother never sought out the child’s whereabouts and continued shopping.”
“When the mother was shopping, a Good Samaritan brought the child to her and the mother responded, ‘oh just leave her’,” Miranda added.
Investigators say the woman had intentionally left her 2-year-old daughter in the grocery store.
The young girl identified the woman as her “mommy” when she was shown a photo from surveillance footage, according to police.
The grocery store issued a written statement that reads in part: “Food 4 Less will continue to work closely with the police and the community to provide assistance regarding the safety of this child. We strongly encourage anyone with information or support to reach out to the police immediately.”
Anyone with any other information has been urged to contact the Riverside Police Department at (951) 353-7945.