TARRANT COUNTY (CBS 11 NEWS) – A Good Samaritan found a 19-month-old baby in Pelican Bay on Monday, covered in cockroaches and feces; crawling across a busy street.
Shirley Cole was driving northbound in the 1400 block of Sherry Lane on Monday at 3 p.m. when she spotted the child.
“My son said did you see the baby I was like ‘no’ and then when I looked at my rear view mirror I saw the baby,” said Cole, who lives in the area. “I was like ‘where is the mom?’ That’s all I could say… where is the mom?”
Cole stopped, picked up the child, and immediately took him to the police station.
“I wanted to cry,” said Cole. “It’s sad. It’s really sad. I would take the baby in a heartbeat.”
Cole said what truly upset her was the abhorrent condition she found the baby in.
“The baby, when he was brought to the police station, had live cockroaches coming out of his diapers and crawling on his body,” said Pelican Bay Assistant Chief of Police Stephen Combs. “The people that brought him into the police department had to clean out their car because of the live and dead cockroaches. He had feces on his face; he was extremely dirty. It was a pathetic sight.”
Police said there was a pile of dead cockroaches left to clean up at the station.
“It was just disheartening to see in 30 years in my career. Children always get to police officers and officers are always compassionate towards children… To see something of this nature really broke our hearts, especially in Christmas time,”said Combs.
Combs said the little boy had some scrapes on his hands and knees but he was in good spirits considering his plight.
Around 3:30 pm, the baby’s mother, identified as 23-year-old Tiffany Jenkins, walked into the station and asked if anyone had found her baby. Investigators said Jenkins told them she was out in the front yard with her three other children when one of them hurt their foot.
She said she took the other kids into the house but somehow forgot about the toddler. The baby was 250 feet from the home. Jenkins also told police that she’s addicted to painkillers and had taken Vicodin at the time. Jenkins was arrested and charged with Endangering a child, a second degree felony. Her husband, who also lives at the residence, was at work at the time of the incident and is not facing charges.
Child Protective Services removed the other three children — ages 9 weeks, 3 years, and 5 years — from the home and has placed them with grandparents.
“No baby should be in the middle of the road,” explained Cole who said she was just following her maternal instinct. “I’m not a hero. I’m just looking out for a baby.”
CBS 11’s Arezow Doost reached Jenkins on her cell phone, but she hung up and hasn’t returned any calls.
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