A Parker County, Texas mother has been charged with abandoning or endangering a child after a passerby found a toddler walking alone along Interstate 20 last month.
Raven Faye Thiebaud, 26, told a sheriff’s deputy that she left the 21-month-old child alone at the family’s home for no more than 30 minutes while she took an older child to school, according to court records.
A passerby saw the toddler walking along the north service road of Interstate 20 March 24, stopped and called 911.
The child told the passerby that she was looking for her mother, who had gone to the store in a purple truck, according to the sheriff’s office.
As the passerby was waiting for the responding deputy, a purple pickup passed them. It was later found parked in Thiebaud’s driveway.
After deputies arrived, Thiebaud approached and notified deputies that she was girl's mother.
She initially said she’d left the child asleep while she fed animals on the property where she lived but later told an investigator that she left the girl home while taking her older child to school, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Thiebaud said she had cleaned the car seat the night before but did not get up early enough to put it back in her vehicle, an investigator wrote.
In 2006, Thiebaud was found guilty of having an unrestrained child under 4 years old in a vehicle, a traffic misdemeanor.
Last year, Thiebaud was found guilty of allowing a child under 8 years old or less than 4-foot, 9-inches tall to ride unsecured, also a traffic misdemeanor, in January 2012.
In Texas, abandoning or endangering a child is a state jail felony if the person charged abandoned the child with the intent to return.
Thiebaud was booked into the Parker County Jail on a warrant last week and released on $7,500 bond.
Christin Coyne writes for the Weatherford, Texas Democrat.