Toddler found wandering has been reunited with her father
ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. - The Elkhart County Sheriff's Department says the toddler who was found unattended Wednesday afternoon has been reunited with her father, and her babysitter has been arrested.
The babysitter, 31-year-old Stephanie Dearling-Tibbs, is facing charges of neglect of a dependent, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a legend drug, misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled substance.
Elkhart County deputies discovered these drugs after the apartment complex where she lives, Overlook Apartments, found the toddler she was supposed to be watching wandering alone for hours.
“My daughter, Teresa, She called me. She says on Facebook there’s something about a little girl missing out here where you live at at Overlook, I says what?” said Patricia Floyd, who lives in the apartment complex.
“We received a call approximately about 1:30 pm for a found child that was found wandering through the apartment complex,” said Captain James Bradberry, with the Elkhart County sheriff’s department.
“The manager had caught her just before she crossed 19. If she had crossed 19, you know what would have happened,” said Floyd.
Moments before the apartment complex called the cops, neighbor Chance Urbina found that little girl right on his doorstep.
“I was sitting in my house today around 1:15, and I heard a little giggling, so I went over to my kitchen window to look out, and there was a little girl sitting on my chair on my front porch,” said Urbina.
When he later discovered deputies were searching for her parents, he sprang into action.
“We went to almost every building and knocked,” he said.
After a nearly four-hour search, officials reunited the young girl with her father, who does not live in the Overlook Apartments.
He had dropped her off with a babysitter, who lives in the apartment complex, before work.
That 31-year-old woman is now facing neglect of a dependent and multiple drug charges.
“It’s sad, but it’s scary, too, because you never know who could have snatched her up,” said Urbina.
“God let that Daddy keep an eye on that angel,” said Floyd.