LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — University of Kentucky police have found a toddler they say was reported missing in Los Angeles more than two months ago.
Officers saw a woman pushing a stroller on campus Thursday with a little girl who wasn't dressed properly for the cold weather. Upon further investigation they learned that the 17-month-old child, Alouette Day-Moreno-Baltierra, had been reported missing in California on Oct. 15.
"This is an example of where the responding officers followed a gut feeling that something just wasn't right with the situation," UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said in a statement Friday.
Police have charged the woman, Maria Baltierra-Dejesus of New York, with endangering the welfare of a minor and custodial interference. She also is facing pending felony charges in California related to the taking of the girl, UK Police said.
Monroe said Baltierra-Dejesus had identified herself as the child's grandmother, but that has not been confirmed. The girl is in the care of Child Protective Services while in Kentucky.
Monroe says it is possible Baltierra-Dejesus wanted to leave the country with the girl.
UK Police are working with the FBI and Los Angeles police to return the girl to her proper caregiver. Monroe said early information indicates that the child is under the guardianship of the state of California.