An Arizona mother has been charged with child abuse after police said she abandoned her six-year-old daughter at a Phoenix McDonald’s Wednesday night.
Lucy Parra, 23, brought little Everlyn to the fast food eatery near 23rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road to get an ice cream, but when the girl went out into the parking lot, her mother’s car was nowhere to be found, according to investigators.
Court documents show that after about 15 minutes of searching the area for Parra, McDonald’s workers called police. Parra returned to look for her child 40 minutes after she first left, while officers were on the scene. The woman, who has a history of drug problems, was arrested on one count of child abuse. Further investigation has revealed that the 23-year-old mother of five left two other kids at a family member’s home.
The incident happened just hours after Parra was released from Tent City Jail where she stayed for a week for driving with a suspended license, CBS5 reported.
Parra picked up her daughter from Westwood Elementary School Wednesday afternoon, even though she was not supposed to be in contact with her after losing custody of her children, according to officials. Just before 8pm, the mother took the first-grader to get a treat at McDonald’s, and then took off while the girl was inside, police said.
Workers at the restaurant say the girl was crying and visibly upset at the idea of being abandoned. She also appeared very hungry. According to McDonald’s worker Yesenia Bojorquez, Everyln told her that she hasn’t eaten anything since school lunch. When Parra returned, Bojorquez said she appeared intoxicated and claimed that she has never left the parking lot, which only had four cars at the time, none of them Parra’s.
Relatives said Parra has a history of meth addiction. Two of her children live with their fathers, and her mother is the legal guardian of two others, including Everlyn. The six-year-old and the other child are now in the custody of Child Protective Services.
During her court appearance, a judge placed Parra under house arrest and ordered her to wear a monitoring device after the 23-year-old said she would like to grab her children and flee to Mexico, NBC12 reported. Parra is due back in court November 28.