HOLLYWOOD (CBS4 ) – A Broward County woman is in big trouble tonight and could wind up losing custody of her daughter.
Police in Hollywood say Gevona Attley left her 11 month old alone for hours inside an apartment while Attley was in jail on a prostitution charge.
A neighbor — Ray Mejia — said he awoke Friday to the sound a man knocking on the door of an apartment next door. Mejia said he soon heard the sound of a child crying. Hollywood Police were called and Mejia helped pry the apartment door open to free the child.
“She was looking scared because she was alone,” Mejia told CBS4’s Carey Codd.
Mejia said when he saw the child in the apartment she had her hands in a bag of trash.
“The baby was right there eating some kind of cheese crackers out (of) the garbage,” Mejia said.
Home video taken by Mejia after the child was removed shows the child eating applesauce while being held by Mejia’s girlfriend, Yenei Soto.
Soto said she fed the girl, changed her diaper and cleaned her up.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Soto said. “Something worse could have happened to her being in the house by herself.”
After the girl was recovered around 11:45 am, police soon learned that Attley was arrested earlier Friday morning in Hollywood around 6:30. Police say she was booked on a prostitution charge. Court records show Attley was also arrested in 2010 for prostitution.
On Friday, her daughter was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital to be checked out then handed over to the Department of Children and Families.
A DCF spokesperson said the child is in an emergency shelter and there will be a court hearing tomorrow. DCF is trying to find a family member who might be able to care for the child.
Attley’s landlord — who did not want to be named — said her tenant always appeared to be a caring mother.
“You have to be very stupid, very bad to do this. It’s not nice,” the landlord said.
Rey Mejia said he wishes Attley had asked him to look after her daughter rather than leave an 11-month-old all alone, scared and wondering where her mother was.
“Child neglect isn’t something that anyone should be able to get away with,” Mejia said.
Hollywood Police tell CBS4 they will charge the mom with some type of crime for leaving her daughter alone, however the exact charge has not been determined.