2-year-old found wandering in Ross Park Mall parking lot; mother arrested

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A New Brighton woman was arrested after police said she allowed her 2-year-old son to wander around the Ross Park Mall parking lot in frigid weather Tuesday night.

Around 9:45 p.m. -- when the temperature was 2 degrees, or minus 9 with the wind chill -- a mall security officer found the boy wearing jeans and a light jacket, Ross police Sgt. Benjamin Dripps said in a news release.

In addition to the dangerous temperature, Sgt. Dripps said the parking lot was dimly lit and desolate. It's unclear how long the boy was alone outside.

"A lot of things could have happened -- none of them good -- to that little boy had the security guard not found him when he did," the sergeant said.

The child was evaluated but not treated for any medical issues.

Kimberly Hollinda, 37, told police she was unable to take the boy with her as she went from one end of the mall to the other to get her car, Sgt. Dripps said. Earlier that evening, the child was found alone inside the mall and reunited with his mother.

Ms. Hollinda was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and was taken to the Allegheny County Jail, Sgt. Dripps said. Children, Youth and Family services in Allegheny County has custody of the boy, he said.

Lexi Belculfine: lbelculfine@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1878. Twitter: @LexiBelc. First Published January 8, 2014 6:41 PM


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