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Tot mom abandons 2-year-old in supermarket: ‘Just leave her’

by Ellen Killoran

A Good Samaritan tried to return the child to her mother — but she didn’t want her back

A California woman is in custody after being accused to abandoning her toddler in a busy supermarket over the weekend.

Chiengkham Vilaysane is believed to be the woman who caught on surveillance camera at a Riverside, California, supermarket, seemingly unbothered that she had been separated from her two-year-old daughter. According to Fox News, she was taken into custody on Tuesday, but it is unclear if she has been charged.

Riverside police released surveillance footage on Monday showing a woman hurrying into a Food-4-Less supermarket Sunday evening, walking ahead of her daughter and not looking back. According to Fox News, after the toddler had been wandering alone, a concerned shopper brought the child back to her mother, but the woman reportedly said, “Oh just leave her.”

It is unclear what happened next in the exchange between the mother and the person who found the little girl, but the mother reportedly paid for her groceries and left the store without her daughter. Shortly after, the police arrived for the child, and showed her the surveillance video.

Police told Fox News that the toddler identified the woman in the video as “mommy.”

“In my whole career I have never seen anything where out of the blue someone leaves their kid in a crowded grocery store like this,” Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback told Fox 11 Los Angeles.

The little girl is currently with Child Protective Services.

Ellen is a seasoned journalist and former media & entertainment reporter with a taste for true crime. Formerly a senior editor at IBTimes, her work has appeared in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Maxim, NYMag, Indiewire, and more. She co-produced the HBO documentary "Youth Knows No Pain" and appeared in a documentary series that aired alongside the Lifetime movie "Manson's Lost Girls."