Young child left wandering in Masterton

Monday 23 July 2012, 1:46PM
By New Zealand Police


A member of the public found a three year old toddler wandering down Opaki Road, Masterton, shortly after midnight on Saturday morning (21 July).

Acting Senior Sergeant Rob Rackliff of the Wairarapa Police says Police staff then uplifted the child, who was subsequently able to point out her home address, which was nearby.

"When staff visited the address, no one was home, however the toddler's mother was located soon after, walking down the street, very upset, looking for the young child."

Rob Rackliff says in explanation, the mother said she had left the child alone at the house when she'd left to visit friends nearby.  She had expected to be away for only a short time, but ended up being away for two hours.

"The young child upon waking up and not finding anyone at the address had pushed a highchair up against the back door, unlatched it and wandered off down the street looking for her mother."

Rob Rackliff says it was lucky that the young toddler was found by a member of the public who called Police, otherwise the situation could have turned out a lot different.

The young girl was placed in the care of family members and her mother has been charged with neglect of a child.  She has been bailed to appear in the Masterton District Court later this week.

Police are working with Child, Youth and Family to ensure the safety and ongoing well being of the young child.