Child, 2, found abandoned in Phoenix backyard - Tucson News Now

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Child, 2, found abandoned in Phoenix backyard

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The child, who appeared to be about 2 years old, was found by the home's residents Saturday morning. (Source: Phoenix Police Department) The child, who appeared to be about 2 years old, was found by the home's residents Saturday morning. (Source: Phoenix Police Department)
Melynie Susunkewa (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's office) Melynie Susunkewa (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's office)

A mother has been arrested after her toddler spent the night alone outside in a Phoenix backyard amid intermittent rains, police said.

Officers said the child, who appeared to be about 2 years old, was found by the home's residents Saturday morning in the area of 5700 W. Glenrosa Avenue.

The child appeared to be in good condition and was checked by medics and placed temporarily with Child Protective Services.

Police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump said that Melynie Susunkewa had been at a party Friday night near where the child was found. He said the woman got upset, left the party and doesn't recall what she did with her child.

A family member called police. The caller told investigators she was at a wedding party the night before in the area of 5200 W Campbell Avenue, when Susunkewa became upset, took the child and left on foot.

Officers found and detained Susunkewa at a North Phoenix apartment. Melynie told investigators she had been fighting with the boy's father earlier in the night about her past relationships and she was upset because a woman at the party wanted to fight her, Crump said.

She admitted to consuming several alcoholic beverages, according to Crump.

Susunkewa was unable to convey why or what she was running from as she said she jumped several residential fences and hid under several vehicles.

Somewhere in the area of 5500 W. Indian School Road, Susunkewa claimed she blacked out for several hours, and later got a ride from a stranger.

She claimed to have slept until about 4 p.m. and then called her mother to ask where her son was, Crump said. Susunkewa had scrapes on her body consistent with jumping over fences, Crump said. 

The child was wearing a red, long-sleeved T-shirt, black sweatpants and white socks. The occupants of the house reported hearing sounds from the backyard throughout the night and woke up Saturday morning and observed the child walking around in the backyard.

The backyard was secured and surrounded by fencing. It's not known how the child found his way into the backyard. Officers questioned the residents and canvassed the neighborhood.

A search warrant was issued to determine her toxicity levels based on her unusual story, Crump said.

Susunkewa was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on charges of child abuse.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved.  CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.

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