'Just leave her': Mom sought after police say she abandoned toddler at Riverside grocery store

Police in Riverside are searching for a woman who intentionally left her toddler at a Food 4 Less store.

Officers responded at about 5:55 p.m. Sunday to the store, located at 4250 Van Buren Boulevard, regarding a child found. Investigators determined the mother had abandoned her 2-year-old daughter in the store.

The woman, described as 20 to 30 years old, entered the store with the child by her side. Authorities said while in the store, the toddler wandered off and the mother never looked for her and continued shopping.

Authorities said a good Samaritan brought the child back to her while she was shopping and the mother responded, "just leave her."

The woman paid for her groceries and left the little girl, authorities said.

The 2-year-old was able to identify the woman as her "mommy" when she was shown a photo from the surveillance footage, investigators said.

As of Monday evening, the child had not been reported as missing and was placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.

The woman was described as having dark hair, last seen wearing a black or dark tank top shirt and denim shorts. She may have portions of her right arm covered in tattoos, authorities said.

Anyone who recognizes the women is urged to contact Detective Paul Miranda at (951) 353-7945 or pmiranda@riversideca.gov.

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