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The note left with the toddler reportedly read: "child abandoned … no phone number for mom"

By Gabrielle Chung
December 14, 2020 08:29 PM
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Police in Mississippi have taken one suspect into custody after a toddler was abandoned at a Goodwill location with just a note and a change of clothes.

The 2-year-old boy, who authorities did not identify by name, was left behind at a donation center in Southaven on Monday around 9:40 a.m., according to the Southaven Police Department.

Authorities said the child was dropped off by a man wearing black jogging pants and a black cowboy hat, who left the scene on foot.

The toddler had with him a had a plastic grocery bag containing a note and some clothing, according to police.

Boy, 2, Left at Goodwill
Child left at Goodwill donation center in Southaven, Mississippi
| Credit: Southaven Police Department
Boy, 2, Left at Goodwill
Credit: Southaven Police Department

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Surveillance cameras in the area captured images of the man and a woman who authorities believe were involved in the incident.

The two were seen together in a red vehicle when the boy was abandoned, according to police.

At around 3:30 p.m., Southaven officers — with the assistance of Shelby County Sheriff’s Department and FBI offices in both Mississippi and Tennessee — apprehended one suspect in connection to the case after receiving numerous tips following a public appeal for information.

Boy, 2, Left at Goodwill
Credit: Southaven Police Department
Boy, 2, Left at Goodwill
Credit: Southaven Police Department

"At this time the investigation is still ongoing, no suspect information or charges are being released," Southaven Police Department Chief Macon Moore said in a statement. "We would like to thank all of the citizens who showed concern for the child, rest assured he is well, and being taken care of and will be reunited with family when CPS determines this is proper."

"We would also like to thank all of the citizens who offered tips regarding the suspects in this case," Moore added. "The cooperation from the community and a unified effort from law enforcement led to the speedy apprehension of suspects."

An employee at the Goodwill center told news station WREG-TV that the man had said "the child's mother couldn't care for him" before leaving the premise.

The note left with the toddler reportedly read: "child abandoned … no phone number for mom."

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According to the outlet, the boy was not properly dressed for the weather but was laughing, eating and playing with toys until police arrived.

"Goodwill learned that a two-year-old child was left at a Goodwill attended donation center. The child was accompanied by an adult who dropped the child off, but it is not known what relationship they have with the child. The safety of the child is our top priority and we are very sorry to hear about the circumstances of this young child," a spokesperson for Goodwill tells PEOPLE in a statement.

"Upon knowing the child’s circumstances, we immediately reported the situation to police. Our security leaders are working closely with local authorities, including reviewing surveillance footage. At this time, the matter is an ongoing investigation with the police."

Investigators are asking those with information to call Southaven police at 662-393-8652 or email TIPS@southaven.org.