Woman facing child neglect charges after her child wanders off when left alone

COLLIER COUNTY

A woman has been arrested for child neglect after a little girl is found wandering alone in Collier County. Deputies say someone found the girl on 20th Avenue Southwest in Golden Gate Estates.

Neighbors in Golden Gate Estates are thankful the four-year-old girl is safe.

“I saw two police officers, one of them approached me and asked if I had just one daughter. But I didn’t know what was going on. Later I saw them carrying a little girl who was wandering the street,” said Evelin, a neighbor.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office report said neighbors told them where the girl lived. In a rented room near 20th Avenue Southwest.

Deputies found the back door open, cartoons on television, and a lit candle at her home, but they didn’t find anyone in charge of the child.

When Jovana Rivera Mendoz Alozada came home, she told deputies she went out to do laundry. That is when deputies arrested her.

“A younger child, or child is really, just not responsible or older enough developmentally, to be left alone,” said Jackie Stephens with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collier County.

The advocacy center says young children should always be supervised.

Stephens said, “if you’re not going to be leaving your child was somebody, then don’t do it. And you just then you have to prioritize, you know, what’s most important here?”

Neighbors are thankful someone stepped in when they saw the girl alone in the street.

“Just like in a community, for neighbors to be able to help one another or, you know, to help build a support system so that you could, you know, help that neighbor,” said Stephens.

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