Authorities have apprehended one of the individuals suspected of brazenly abandoning a 2-year-old boy outside a goodwill donation center in Mississippi this week.
The deserted child was discovered by an employee at the donation center in Southaven, Mississippi shortly before 10 a.m. on Dec. 14, police said. Detectives were initially stumped as to the boy’s identity, as he was unable to give his name or that of his parents or any relatives.
However, a cryptic note found in a plastic bag with the toddler, along with some clothing, indicated the child had been intentionally dumped at the donation center.
“Child abandoned…no phone number for mom,” the note said, WREG reported.
Police later released surveillance images of two individuals accompanying the child moments before he was left behind. One frame of the video shows a man, cloaked in black and wearing a fishing hat, a mask, and sunglasses. He’s seen holding the child’s hand as they walked toward the donation center.
“A guy came walking from the gas station with a little boy and I saw him walking over there,” the unidentified worker told WREG. “His nose was running and he didn’t have no socks or nothing. He had a bowl of food, soup in his hand, and he asked, can we take the baby in, because the mother abandoned him. He just said he couldn’t take it with him and left.”
Hours later, following a flood of public tips, one of two suspects was in custody, according to Southaven police. The individual, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was arrested in Memphis following a police chase Monday afternoon. The suspect was in possession of the same red SUV that surveillance cameras captured the couple driving.
The toddler has also been identified by law enforcement. It’s unclear if the child’s mother was aware the suspects in question had her boy, according to WMC-TV.
“I was very shocked, but the good thing was they dropped him off,” Southaven resident Renee Harris told the outlet. “[He] wasn’t beaten or something bad had happened to him — that’s the good thing.”
The 2-year-old is currently in the custody of child protective services, police said.
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