FORT SUMNER, N.M. (KRQE) – The family and babysitter of a 5-year-old girl left behind at a gas station sum up the incident as one big mix-up.
The De Baca County Sheriff’s Department said they have wrapped up their investigation.
Deputies say the family and babysitter had all been camping and came to Fort Sumner for supplies. That’s when things took a turn.
Deputies say this 5-year-old girl – along with her parents, a babysitter, and seven other children – were camping at nearby Lake Sumner. They then took two cars to an Allsups in Fort Sumner on Saturday afternoon.
Deputies say the girl’s father and that babysitter went inside to buy supplies and that the 5-year-old was out of sight in the third row of a GMC Yukon.
When they came back out, they loaded up their cars and drove back to Lake Sumner. Deputies say each group thought the other had the little girl.
An Allsups employee called the De Baca County Sheriff’s Department after finding her alone in the store. Several hours passed before park rangers would find the babysitter and her parents at different parts of the lake.
Deputies say the little girl somehow got out of the car and into the store without anyone noticing.
“The parents and the caregiver they were all pretty distraught about the whole situation,” said Chief Deputy Kurt Griego “Everybody was crying and really looking forward to being reunited with this child.”
The Children, Youth and Families Department did give the child back to her parents, but the department will continue looking into the incident. Deputies wouldn’t say if either the parents or babysitter had previously been investigated by CYFD.
The investigation will now go to the district attorney’s office. Deputies say they don’t believe this was intentional.