Update: Child found wandering naked on road, mother charged with neglect

Becky Campbell • Jan 26, 2012 at 10:24 AM

An early-morning errand landed a Johnson City woman in jail Wednesday after she left her 5-year-old son home alone while she drove a friend to work, according to police.

Angelina Cruzcortes, 24, 2204 S. Greenwood Drive, faces one count of child neglect.

The offense is a felony because of the child’s age, according to Johnson City Police Capt. Debbie Botelho.

“We have some very good citizens in this city. They saw (the child) and called 911,” she said.

“The mother had gone to run an errand and left the child alone asleep in the apartment.”

The child woke up and was able to leave the apartment and start walking along Greenwood Drive. Passersby spotted the child at 5:11 a.m.

When Officer Justin Adams arrived, he put the naked child in his cruiser and wrapped him in a blanket due to the cold weather.

A neighbor pointed out a possible apartment for the boy, but no one was home.

Cruzcortes arrived home at 5:32 a.m., police said.

According to court documents filed in Washington County General Sessions Court, Cruzcortes’ errand was to drive a friend to work because that friend recently got a DUI and could no longer drive.

The woman told police she “left her son in his bed...she did not want to wake the child up because she did not plan to be gone very long,” an officer wrote in the court document.

Cruzcortes is the third parent since late December charged with child neglect because a young child was found outside alone.

On Dec. 21, Washington County sheriff’s deputies charged Jeannae Raley, 34, and William Lollar, 44, 128 Sycamore Drive, Jonesborough after Raley’s 4-year-old daughter was found walking along the East Main Street in Jonesborough around 3 a.m.

Just last week, on Jan. 18, Heather Michelle Barham, 24, 198 Oak Grove Road, was charged after her 3-year-old son was found on a neighbor’s porch screaming that he couldn’t find his mommy.

Those cases are pending in General Sessions Court. Cruzcortez will be arraigned on her charges Thursday.


Note: An earlier version of this article confused the child's gender.

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