Pasco County Deputies arrested a man on Sunday for child neglect after he lost track of the 2-year-old girl he was caring for while he was picking his fantasy football draft.
According to deputies, 27-year-old Jesus Martinez, of Holiday, was picking a fantasy football draft on his phone when the toddler went missing. He did not realize the toddler left the house until a 6-year-old in the house realized she was missing.
The toddler was found walking by herself more than 1,000 feet from her caretaker's residence by a citizen, deputies say. The toddler was found in the street and was only wearing a dirty diaper at the time. The citizen changed the diaper and placed clean clothes on the little girl and contacted the Sheriff’s Office.
“What was going through my head was how does somebody lose their baby," 14-year-old Halleigh Wears said.
Wears said her family stopped to help the little girl. She said someone else in the neighborhood wanted to help too.
“After a little while, a lady in a red truck came. She didn’t speak much English. She gave us a new diaper and wipes and clothes and stuff ‘cause she was wearing nothing," Wears said.
Steve Patton saw commotion in the neighborhood and called 911.
“There’s no good reason (and it) doesn’t matter what it is for a little girl to be left like that," Patton said.
Patton said people quickly helped and tried to track down the family of the little girl by writing posts on social media.
“It’s kind of unnerving to find a little baby, really, walking around unattended," Patton said.
During the investigation, Martinez, the toddler's caregiver, was located by deputies approximately one hour after she was found by the citizen. The toddler was unharmed.
“I really hope that she’ll have absolutely no memory [of] it," Wears said.
Martinez was arrested for child neglect and taken to the Land O' Lakes jail. ABC Action News went to the address Martinez listed as his own and someone was home, but it was not Martinez. The person did not walk out of the house to speak with ABC Action News.