Police arrest relative of abandoned toddler

Police arrest relative of abandoned toddler

Two-year-old girl found wandering alone during a stormy night; father tracked down 24 hours later

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Police on Saturday arrested a relative of a two-year-old girl who was found wandering alone in a field during a thunderstorm. Though the child was in good condition, it took authorities almost 24 hours to track down her father.

The toddler was found by a passerby late Friday, who saw her walking in drenched clothes through the rain near the village of Ibtin in the north. The man picked her up and handed her over to a police patrol he spotted.

The policemen removed her wet clothes and wrapped her in a dry blanket. They also gave her water and some food, before a female officer accompanied her in an ambulance to the children’s department of Haifa’s Rambam Hospital.

Doctors at the hospital told reporters there was no evidence the girl had been starved or abused.

Almost 24 hours later the girl’s family was located, and one of them held for questioning by the police. “I won’t give away information that could ruin the investigation,” superintendent Eran Shaked told Walla News, noting that the child’s father was also questioned.

The toddler’s parents are reportedly divorced, and, as of Sunday morning, the mother was yet to be found.

The girl is not from one of the villages in the area, a volunteer who helped in the searches told Channel 2. “It’s unclear why she was abandoned, but it’s a cruel thing to do.”

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