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Babysitter arrested after 3-year-old boy found wandering alone; police suspect alcohol a factor

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Posted at 2:57 PM, Oct 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-22 00:03:26-04

IVINS, Utah – A southern Utah woman is facing charges of reckless child abuse after a 3-year-old boy was reportedly found wandering by himself on a road Sunday. The woman was supposed to be watching the boy, and police believe she may have been drinking.

Two women found the boy walking in the middle of the street near 200 East and 250 North in Ivins, which is near St. George. They didn’t see an adult around, so they took the boy to a nearby fire station.

Police and firefighters began looking for the parents, going door to door until they located his home. The parents arrived back from an evening out shortly after.

“We found that the parents had left the child with a friend of the family, babysitter,” said Santa Clara-Ivins police officer Chad Holt. “We were able to make contact with the babysitter inside the home, just a few blocks away, but she had not been caring for the child as she should have been.”

Officers arrested 56-year-old Charity Garcia of Ivins. Holt said it's not clear why Garcia allowed the boy out of the house, but alcohol is suspected to be a factor.

“Every parent does their best,” said Holt about the parents leaving the boy with Garcia.

He said they’re just glad the boy wasn’t hurt, and the two women decided to act on a suspicious situation.

“As police officers we need help from every citizen,” Holt said. “When we have that, we get the whole community involved, that really benefits everyone.”

Garcia was booked into the Washington County Jail on charges of reckless child abuse. Garcia has been released on bail.