A British mother could face charges after allegedly taking 13 hours to go to the police when her 3-year-old son went missing in a Spanish holiday resort.
When the 34-year-old woman went looking for her child, the Mirror reported, a fast-food worker told her that police officers had rescued her son about an hour earlier. He had been spotted walking along a seafront in Costa Blanca, Spain—alone, barefoot, and wearing only pajamas.
But it is reported that another 12 hours lapsed before the boy’s mother contacted the police in the holiday resort of Torrevieja. Further, after police requested that she urgently come down to the station to get her child, or face the prospect that he might be taken to an emergency care home, the mother allegedly took another 2 hours.
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This astonishing chain of events has led to the British mother’s being reported for the alleged crime of child abandonment, the Daily Mail stated, citing a local paper Diario de Informacion.
The incident began on Wednesday, Jan. 24, when a fast-food worker called the police around 8.30 p.m. after spotting a young boy wandering alone along the promenade in only his pajamas. Police were unable to ascertain who the boy was or find his parents, and after they confirmed that no missing person alert had been issued, took him to a hospital to make sure he was not suffering from any injuries or medical conditions.
At about 9.30 p.m. the same worker noticed a woman who appeared to be “looking for something.” After confirming that she was the mother of the boy who had earlier been the subject of the police intervention, he reportedly told her that the boy had been taken in by the police.
It is reported that the police did not hear from the mother until around 8.30 a.m. the following day. Then, after the police allegedly urged her to come pick up her son immediately as he might get remanded to a temporary care facility, the mother took another 2 hours to show up.
According to the Daily Mail, citing Diario de Informacion, the mother apparently told officers that she did not arrive earlier because she felt the child was safe in the hands of the police after she lost sight of him while she was out with a group of companions.
The woman was reported to court officials and an investigation launched into possible child abandonment.
The Torrevieja promenade is near the spot where an off-duty police officer prevented the abduction of a 2-year-old girl last September.
At the time it was reported that a man had snatched the little girl and ran off with her in his arms, as family members screamed. He reportedly dumped the child as he was intercepted by holidaymakers, alerted by the screams of the girl’s panic-stricken relatives.