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3-year-old found wandering Brooksville street; babysitter arrested

BROOKSVILLE — A 3-year-old girl wandered her neighborhood for hours after authorities say her babysitter left the toddler to go to work and run errands.

Jeremiah Rodriguez, 18, was arrested Friday on a charge of child neglect, a felony.

A Hernando County Sheriff's Office report stated the child's parents, whose names were withheld, had arranged for Rodriguez to watch their daughter. But after they left Friday morning, authorities say he did also, leaving the toddler alone.

About an hour later, just after 10 a.m., deputies received a call about the girl walking unsupervised near Powell Road and Rowan Road.

A neighbor, the report said, saw the girl alone in the front yard of a nearby house. When he approached her, the child said "Mommy wasn't home" and sat down in the middle of Rowan Road. The man told deputies the child was still alone outside two hours later.

Initially, investigators said Rodriguez admitted that he was supposed to babysit the girl but later denied it. His bond was set at $5,000.

3-year-old found wandering Brooksville street; babysitter arrested 04/18/11 [Last modified: Monday, April 18, 2011 1:54pm]
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