Boy, 3, left alone at Hazelwood mall; mother questioned

Monday, February 11, 2008

HAZELWOOD, Mo. (AP) -- Police in the St. Louis suburb of Hazelwood want to know why a 3-year-old boy was left alone at a shopping mall.

The child was found Saturday evening at the NASCAR SpeedPark in the St. Louis Mills mall. His identity wasn't known for about 21 hours until the mother came forward Sunday evening. Names of the mother and child have not been released.

A court hearing will determine whether the boy should be returned to his mother's custody.

The boy was found about 9:15 p.m. Saturday as the mall was closing. Security guards tried to find his parents, then took him to a police substation inside the mall.

The boy said his name was Cortez but couldn't provide any other identifying information.

Police say the boy appears to be healthy and happy.

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

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