Toddler Found Wandering At Night At Northeast Austin Road, Mother Arrested And Charged

By Claire Parker, Parent Herald February 06, 04:00 am
The mother of a 3-year-old girl found wandering on Austin road in the middle of the night is facing a child abandonment case.
(Photo : Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A 3-year-old girl was almost struck by a female driver on Thursday evening after she was wandering at a northeast Austin road without any companion. The mother of the child was arrested and charged by authorities.

The bond for the mother was set at $150,000 and was charged with child abandonment. When police arrived at the scene, as the woman who almost struck the kid called 911, they said the toddler was partially dressed, barefoot, wearing a soiled diaper and had a large bruise on her forehead, My Statesman reported.

Minutes later, 27-year-old Jessica Espinosa went outside her home to where the commotion was and said that the toddler is her daughter. She admitted she has been resting with three more children in the house -- a one-year-old, a 6-year-old, and an 11-year-old.

The names of the children were not released. Espinosa also admitted to authorities that as she slept, she left the four children to look after themselves.

The charge that Espinosa is facing is a second-degree felony. If convicted, she could face up to 20 years behind bars.

Authorities added Espinosa knew the circumstances surrounding her decision to leave the children to fend for themselves. They noted a reasonable person would believe the incident will place the children in "imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment."

It is also believed Espinosa's behavior exhibited during the incident was consistent with a person who had ingested a foreign substance. She was not able to tell the names or the birthdays of her kids, Patch reported. She was also unable to tell what she was doing inside aside from resting.

A man claiming to be the stepfather of the kids lives inside a trailer parked in the driveway of the home of Espinosa. The stepfather said the toddler knocked on the trailer twice that evening but he took her back inside after.

Last year, a child was on the news after surveillance video showed her alone crossing the street to get to a gas station. That girl wanted to buy candies. Watch her story in the video below.

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