DECATUR — Police said they arrested a mother early Sunday after she left her 15-month-old daughter alone in a Decatur hotel where the child was found crying and wandering the hallways while the mother went to a party.
A signed police affidavit said the child, who appeared to be searching for her 19-year-old mother, was found by a guest on the third floor of the Ramada Inn, 355 E. Hickory Point Road, and taken to the hotel front desk clerk at 11 p.m. Saturday. The clerk was unable to locate the child’s family and called police at 1:43 a.m. Sunday.
In the affidavit, Decatur police officer Megan Welge said the mother returned to the hotel about a minute ahead of police and initially claimed a 15-year-old cousin was supposed to be babysitting her daughter in the hotel room. But when Welge checked with the cousin’s mother, she was told the teenager knew nothing about a babysitting assignment.
Welge then checked hotel video surveillance cameras, which showed the mother and two female friends leaving their hotel room at 10:53 p.m. Saturday, the affidavit said.
“At approximately 10:55 p.m. I then observed (the child) walk out of the room and walk through hallway as if she was looking for her mother,” Welge said in the affidavit.
Police said they then interviewed one of the mother’s friends who said they had gone to the hotel with the specific intention of going on to a party. The friend told police the mother was going to organize babysitting arrangements for the child, and she was not supposed to bring her to the hotel, the affidavit said.
“(The friend) stated that she asked (the mother) if it was OK to leave the baby when they left, and she stated, ‘Yeah,’ ” Welge wrote in the affidavit.
The mother was booked into the Macon County Jail, where she remained Monday in lieu of $30,000 bond. She faces preliminary charges of endangering the life and health of a child and obstructing justice. Preliminary charges are subject to review by the Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Management of the Ramada was not immediately available for comment Monday evening.