'Just Leave Her': Police Identify Woman Accused of Abandoning Toddler in Food 4 Less | NBC Southern California

'Just Leave Her': Police Identify Woman Accused of Abandoning Toddler in Food 4 Less

A mother who is accused of intentionally abandoning her child in a Riverside grocery store is now in custody. Tony Shin reports for the NBC4 News at 5 on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

(Published Tuesday, March 14, 2017)

Editor's Note: The story has been updated to reflect that the woman in the video was identified by police Tuesday, and she was in custody.

A woman was accused of leaving her wandering child in a Riverside Food 4 Less Sunday, telling a good Samaritan who returned the child to her the first time she was spotted alone, "Oh, just leave her," was in custody Tuesday, according to police.

The woman, spotted in surveillance with the toddler trailing behind and seen checking out without the child, was identified as Chiengkham "Cindy" Vilaysane, 31, by Riverside police. 

Police were on the hunt for the woman Monday as the child had been left behind and was in the custody of Child Protective Services. 

Police Say Woman Abandoned Daughter at Grocery Store

[LA] Police Say Woman Abandoned Daughter at Grocery Store

Police are hoping to identify and locate a woman who they say abandoned her young daughter at a Riverside grocery store. Annette Arreola reports live for Today in LA on Tuesday March 14, 2017.

(Published Tuesday, March 14, 2017)

An employee at a Chase bank in Riverside recognized Vilaysane and asked for her identification. She confirmed it was the mother and called authorities, police said.

Vilaysane and the 2-year-old toddler entered the Riverside Food 4 Less at 4250 Van Buren Boulevard Sunday before 6 p.m., police said.

While inside the store, police said the toddler wandered away from Vilaysane. Police said she never looked for the girl, and continued shopping.

Police said a good Samaritan found the girl and brought her to Vilaysane, who was accused of saying, "Oh, just leave her."

After paying for groceries, the woman deserted the girl, police said.

"It appears the toddler was intentionally left in the store by the mother," Riverside police said in an earlier statement.

Toddler Abandoned in Riverside Food 4 Less: Police

[LA] Toddler Abandoned in Riverside Food 4 Less: Police

Police were searching for a woman Monday, March 13, 2017, they say intentionally left her 2-year-old daughter in a Riverside Food 4 Less. 

(Published Monday, March 13, 2017)

The girl identified Vilaysane as "mommy" after viewing surveillance footage, police said.

"It's just tragic," said Officer Ryan Railsback of the Riverside Police Department. "It's hard to imagine any parent to just walk away a young person like this in a crowded grocery store."

Police initially said she may face child endangerment and child abandonment charges if police find her act was intentional.

Lead Det. Paul Miranda said Vilaysane has had several contacts in the past with Riverside police, including drug and mental illness calls.

Miranda also said she is estranged from her family, and it appears they do not want anything to do with her.

Information on Vilaysane's Facebook page indicated she worked for the sheriff's department, but the Riverside Sheriff's office said she does not, and has never, worked for them.

Anyone with information on the woman was asked to contact Detective Paul Miranda at 951-353-7945 or pmiranda@riversideca.gov.

Get the latest from NBC4 anywhere, anytime

  • Download the App

    Available for IOS and Android

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS