An investigation is underway into how a toddler was able to leave a home and wander the busy streets of Ocean Beach late Thursday night. Police say she was found barefoot on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. NBC 7's Candice Nguyen has more.
A 15-month-old toddler from Ocean Beach is safe after a scare when the girl wandered out of her house late Thursday night.
At around 11 p.m., police received a report of a little girl walking in the middle of Pescadero Avenue near Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. She was barefoot, wearing only a blue tutu outfit. Lieutenant Kevin Mayer says a woman in her car found the toddler and called police.
“It appears the child had gone to the screen door,” he said. “The door had been left open and there was cut in the screen and the child was able to get out through that.”
Once police arrived on the scene, they spotted the toddler, picked her up, and for about 45 minutes officers went door to door to houses in the area asking whether the residents knew who the child’s parents were. Officers were unsuccessful in finding the girl’s parents and took her to the Polinsky Center, an emergency children’s shelter in Kearny Mesa.
The mother called police about three hours after the girl was found, saying her daughter was missing. The mother told police they had returned from a Thanksgiving party and went to sleep in the same bed. When she woke up, she says, her daughter was gone. Police then told the woman to contact the Polinsky Center.
“She’s lucky she didn’t fall off the cliffs,” said Ocean Beach resident Robert Sorrenti, who lives nearby. “Once you get another block and a half down, that's it. It's the open cliffs.”
The little girl was not injured and is still in protective custody. Police said the case was still under investigation and that no charges have been filed. They would not say whether they suspect her of being under the influence.
Social workers at the Polinsky Center are evaluating the child and investigating the incident, according to police.