JASPER, Fla. (WFLA) – A convicted felon is back behind bars after his toddler was found looking “purple” after being left outside overnight at Hurricane Irma pummeled Florida with strong winds and heavy rain, police said.
Angelo Mitchell, 36, was charged with felony child abuse on Monday. According to WCTV, the child’s mother reported her daughter missing around 11:30 p.m. Sunday.
She told police Mitchell left with the girl in his car and returned two hours later without her. He reportedly told the toddler’s mother he didn’t have her in his care.
Officers and deputies searched the area, but the child was nowhere in sight.
When questioned by investigators, Mitchell insisted his daughter was safe and admitted to having several drinks while his daughter was in his care. Officers detected alcohol on his breath and his body. He was arrested on child cruelty charges while the toddler was still missing.
A neighbor later found the 19-month-old lying in Mitchell’s front yard. Witnesses said she was covered in scratches and bug bites and was a shade of purple when she was found. She was transported to a nearby hospital and released on Tuesday.
Mitchell was taken to the Hamilton County Jail.
Mitchell was previously arrested on felony battery charges after he dragged a woman by her hair. He pled guilty and spent five days in prison, then returned for a year-long stint after violating his probation. He also has three restraining orders against him.