Toddler found walking alone in Van Nuys, mom comes forward

A toddler was found wandering in Van Nuys and, after a search, police were contacted by the child's mother, who said she had left her daughter with a babysitter while she went to work.

The girl was found wearing pajamas at 9:45 p.m. Sunday around Hamlin Street and Hazeltine Avenue, said Sgt. Ron Fisher of the Los Angeles Police Department's Van Nuys Station.

This morning, police reported that the mother works the night shift, and left the child with a babysitter. She apparently walked away unnoticed from he babysitter's home.

``There is no crime involved,'' LAPD Officer Irma Mota said, adding that the case remains under investigation.

After she was found, the girl told officers her name is Ariel, that she is 3 years old and that her mother's name is Cynthia, Fisher said. She also indicated that she went out to play while others in her big white house far away were asleep.

Officers spent about an hour-and-a-half driving around the area with the girl in the hope that she would recognize her house, and they showed pictures of the girl to people in businesses in the area, he said.

``She was shy at first,'' Fisher said. But after playing in a special room for children at the police station ``she's in really good spirits.''

The child was turned over to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, he said.

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