7-year-old clutching photo of mom wanders street at midnight to find her, TN cops say

A 7-year-old holding a photo of her mom went searching for the woman at midnight when she woke up to find her mother gone, Tennessee police said.

Now, the 32-year-old woman is charged, records show.

McClatchy News is not identifying the woman to protect the identity of her daughter.

The child approached Memphis Police Department officers as they were conducting a traffic stop at around 12:45 a.m. on Feb. 27, police reported in an arrest affidavit.

The girl showed a picture of her mother and asked the officers if they knew where she was, police said. She told them her mother’s name and said she lived with her mom at an apartment complex that police said was about a quarter-mile away.

She recalled that her mom put her to bed at around 7 p.m., but when she woke up later, she found her mom wasn’t in their apartment, officers reported.

Police went to the apartment and said they found the front door open with no one inside. They contacted the child’s father, who arrived at the scene and said the mother has custody of his daughter, according to the affidavit.

At around 2:20 a.m., the mother drove up to the apartment, police said. She told officers she was “just down the street” and declined to speak with investigators further, officers reported.

She was booked in Shelby County jail on a charge of child neglect (8 years of age or less) and was released on her own recognizance, records show.

McClatchy News reached out to the public defender representing her on Feb. 28 but did not immediately receive a response.

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