TEMECULA, Calif. — A naked 12-year-old girl was discovered eating food out of trash cans in Temecula and her mother has been arrested on suspicion of child endangerment, said Riverside County sheriff’s officials.
When police responded to a 911 call Thursday, they found the girl in a car where she was allegedly left by her mother, 40-year-old Tracy Betts.
Betts works as a teacher’s assistant at an elementary school, where she was arrested at 2:20 p.m.
She was released Friday after posting $15,000 bail.
Dominique Prado told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that she and her husband were pulling weeds from their yard Thursday when they saw the girl rooting through a trash can.
Prado said the girl was completely naked and barefoot, struggling to cover herself with a floor mat from the vehicle.
When the girl realized she’d been spotted, she ran off and Prado called 911.
The girl was found in a BMW with tinted windows around the corner from the Prado’s home.
Prado said she gave the girl yogurt, an apple, children’s snacks and a bottle of water, which the girl consumed.
“Very sad for that little girl,” Prado told the Press-Enterprise.
The girl is in protective custody and was given medical care at a nearby hospital for unspecified ailments.
Credit: The Associated Press.