NJ mom charged after toddler found wandering alone outside on street twice

Maria Ramirez (Courtesy: Englewood Police)

ENGLEWOOD, N.J. — A New Jersey mother is facing child endangerment charges after her toddler was found wandering around the streets of Englewood on two different occasions.

Police say the 3-year-old daughter of Maria Ramirez was found just after 11 p.m. on April 3 wandering into traffic in the area of East Palisade Avenue and Engle Street. Motorists stopped and rescued the child, who was in the process of crossing the street.

The child was taken to police headquarters. She was unable to provide her parents’ names or address — only that she was on a mission to get ice cream.

Officers later discovered an open door on Hillside Avenue nearby and through an investigation determined the child lived there with her parents Maria Ramirez and Norberto Garcia. Neither parent was home, apparently not telling any other occupants of the home that they had left.

The child was apparently left in the care of relatives, who reportedly thought she was in the company of Maria Ramirez. The child was returned to her parents unharmed.

Two days later, around 10 p.m., the same child left the house again and was found wandering around the streets alone. This time, police say the mother was home, but unaware her daughter had left the house.

The child was spotted by a Bennie’s Restaurant employee who stepped outside on her break. The employee was able to grab the toddler, who was getting closer and closer to the roadway.

The child, who was unharmed, was returned to her mother.

Child Protection and Permanency was again contacted and Ramirez was charged with child endangerment. She was released on a summons.

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