CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) — The mother of two small children found unattended outside Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department offices was arrested Friday.
Nazarene Porter, 19, is charged with two counts of misdemeanor child abuse/neglect. She was taken to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.
Police say a two-year-old girl and a four-month-old boy were found Thursday. The girl was left outside CMPD headquarters on E. Trade Street, and the baby boy was left outside CMPD’s Westover division office, located on West Boulevard.
Police said an officer heard an infant crying and found the boy outside in a car seat. A person who had been released from jail found the young girl wandering near CMPD headquarters at the bus stop.
Police said video surveillance shows a woman, believed to be Porter, leave the child in the rain at the bus stop.
After the children were found, police immediately began searching for the parents or guardians.
Charles Bradley, director of Mecklenburg Youth and Family Services, said the priority was linking children with caring loved ones.
“We look for relatives and extended family, or any identifying information that could help us identify next of kin,” Bradley said.
Sarah Hyde is with the Florence Crittenden Service Agency that’s been helping challenged pregnant mothers in Mecklenburg County for more than 100 years.
“I can only imagine what that mother must be going through to make that choice,“ Hyde said. “These children were left safely, and so that might have been the best option for the family at the time.”
According to a police source, the children are believed to be related. They are currently in foster care.
Both children were sent to Carolinas Medical Center after they were found as precaution. They were checked out and are healthy, police say.
County officials told WBTV earlier Friday, before Porter’s arrest, that whoever left the children would not be in the clear. That’s because North Carolina’s “Safe Surrender” law only applies to children up to seven days old.
Peggy Egan, director of Mecklenburg County DSS, believes parents need to make wise choices.
“If a parent really does not think they’re in a situation that will keep a child safe, we want to encourage them to reach out,” Egan said.
Anyone with information is asked to call 704-432-TIPS.
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