Woman arrested after 2-year-old wandered from house before dawn

LAND O'LAKES — A woman was arrested and charged with child abuse Thursday morning after a 2-year-old boy in her care was found wandering an intersection around 4 a.m.

Melody Vanderheide, 34, told sheriff's deputies she woke her sleeping roommate around 11 p.m. Wednesday and asked if she could leave the boy home while she ran to the store for a few minutes.

But according to a report, Vanderheide ended up staying the night at her boyfriend's home without returning or telling the roommate.

The roommate contacted Vanderheide, 17351 Mint Leaf Lane, at 8:30 a.m. to say the child had gotten out of the house and then called the Pasco County Sheriff's Office a few minutes later. The child was unhurt, sheriff's officials said.

Vanderheide was released Thursday afternoon on $5,000 bail.

Woman arrested after 2-year-old wandered from house before dawn 07/05/13 [Last modified: Friday, July 5, 2013 8:09pm]

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