Phoenix family calms scared 2-year-old found in backyard
Renee Contreras and her husband found and cared for a 2-year-old boy who was in their backyard early Saturday morning. (Source: CBS 5 News)
The boy had been left by his mother as she ran from the boy's father after a party, police said. (Source: CBS 5 News)
The boy was found near this shed, his clothes wet and without shoes. (Source: CBS 5 News)
The boy's mother, Melynie Susankewa, wasn't found until about 4 p.m. Saturday. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Just after 8 a.m. Saturday, Renee Contreras and her husband made a discovery in their backyard.
A 2-year-old boy was standing outside their shed. His clothes were wet from the rain, and he wasn't wearing any shoes.
"When I first went out there, he was scared. But as soon as I picked him up, he looked at me and smiled," said Contreras.
Contreras said she heard some commotion in their backyard about 1 a.m., but when her husband checked, he didn't see anything.
Police said Melynie Susunkewa was running through the neighborhood hopping fences and hiding under cars with the toddler after she got into an argument with the boy's father at a party.
"He was pointing that way. I don't know if that's where he saw his mom leave from," said Contreras.
Contreras wrapped the boy in a blanket and called police. While officers canvassed the neighborhood looking for anyone who knew the toddler, she gave the boy a bath, some dry clothes and food.
"We gave him apples and bananas, and then my husband made him an egg," said Contreras.
It wasn't until 4 p.m. that police tracked down Susunkewa after she called her mom to see if she had the boy.
The 20-year-old told police she didn't remember leaving him and that she blacked out and later got a ride from a stranger to an apartment in north Phoenix.
"She could have took him to the hospital down the street if she was scared. Hopefully he goes to a family that can take care of him, his immediate family. And hopefully she can get herself situated and learn from this mistake," said Contreras.
Police told CBS 5 News the toddler wasn't hurt and that he is in custody of Child Protective Services.
Susunkewa was released from jail. She's charged with suspicion of child abuse.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.