A naked 12-year-old girl was spotted eating food out of trash cans in California Thursday after neighbours said they saw her wandering the streets with only a car mat covering her.
The girl’s mother, 40-year-old Tracy Lynn Betts was said to have taken her daughter’s shoes and clothes in an effort to keep her from leaving her BMW, police said.
Betts was taken into custody and later arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment.
Child endangerment: Tracy Lynn Betts, 40, was arrested after her daughter was found naked and rummaging the trash
Riverside County sheriff's officials say when police responded to a 911 call Thursday, they found the girl in a car where she was allegedly left by her mother, the Press-Enterprise reported.
The girl told authorities that her mother works as a teacher’s assistant at Vail Elementary. Betts allegedly took her daughter’s shoes and clothes so she couldn’t leave the car.
Neighbours said they found the girl rummaging through their trash can, trying to cover herself with a floor mat from the car.
Avenida de Calazada resident Dominique Prado told the Press-Enterprise that she and her husband were in their yard when they saw the girl rooting through a trash can.
Ms Prado says she gave her an apple, children's snacks and a bottle of water.
Found: Neighbours say they spotted the 12-year-old girl near Vail Elementary School, where her mother is a teacher's assistant
Deputies found the child sitting famished in the car.
The girl is in protective custody and was given medical care at a nearby hospital for unspecified ailments.
Betts was held Thursday night on $15,000 bail, which she posted Friday. She will next appear in court April 12.
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