Dad of 3-Year-Old Abandoned at Mall Claims Misunderstanding

One day after a 3-year-old girl from California was abandoned at The Grove shopping mall in Los Angeles, someone finally came forward to claim her -- her dad. Little Audrey had been dropped off by a woman with the parking attendants at a shopping center at around 6 p.m. Saturday, which seems odd, but perhaps they had an agreement of some sort or she knew one of them (I'm trying here), but those details are still fuzzy. When no one came to pick her up, the valets turned Audrey over to police, but she was too young to give them helpful information about her parents or home. The adorable little girl's photo was splashed across news networks, where her grandfather reportedly saw her and told his son that she was abandoned. But dad is claiming the entire incident was just a big misunderstanding.


The man, who is being questioned by police but hasn't reunited with his daughter yet, says he wasn't aware that a female relative who had been watching Audrey dropped her off with a car seat at the mall. He told police he had planned to meet his daughter and the woman who dropped her off at the mall, but assumed they both went home when he couldn't find them there. He says he searched for her at the mall until 11 p.m.

Audrey was said to be in good condition when police picked her up. The Department of Children and Family Services reportedly took her in and has yet to confirm whether the man who came forward is definitely her dad and if he will take custody of her.

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There are so many question marks that pop up when you read a story like this one. The first obvious one, to me, is: what would make you think it's a good idea to leave a 3-year-old with busy parking attendants? Wouldn't you wait until the child in your care is safely in the care of another person you KNOW before driving away?

Assuming Audrey's dad really did search the mall until 11 p.m., why not pick up a phone and call the female relative? Would you even be able to sleep that night not having received confirmation that your child was safe?

Look, I sincerely hope it really was just a misunderstanding -- and police seem to think so, since they are investigating this case as one. But, by the sound of it, there were a few poor choices made here, and it's fortunate that the valets cared enough to turn Audrey in and keep her safe.

What do you think about what allegedly happened here?


Image via LAPD

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