A California mother has been arrested after she allegedly left her 2-year-old daughter in a grocery store alone last weekend with no plans to return, PEOPLE confirms.
Chiengkham Vilaysane was taken into custody two days after she took the little girl to a Food 4 Less in Riverside, California, on Sunday — and didn’t look for the toddler when she wandered off, Riverside police claim in a statement.
When a worried shopper tried to reunite Vilaysane, 31, with her daughter, she allegedly replied, “Oh, just leave her,” according to authorities.
“The small child was able to identify the woman as her ‘mommy’ when she was shown a photo from the surveillance footage,” police said, noting that the girl had not been reported missing.
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A search ensued for the girl’s mother, after officers responded to a report of a “found child” at the grocery store.
Police released surveillance footage showing Vilaysane entering the store with the little girl in tow, and a local bank employee later recognized her from media reports and contacted authorities.
Vilaysane was arrested on Tuesday, and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in California on suspicion of child neglect and child endangerment, jail records show.
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She has not yet been officially charged and is expected to appear in court on Thursday. It was not immediately clear if she has retained an attorney.
Riverside police said the little girl is now in the custody of child protective services. She is “a little bit shaken up,” one detective told the Los Angeles Times.
Authorities have also learned that Vilaysane has another child, who is “safe and with family.”