ATLANTA, Ga. - Channel 2 Action News spoke to the mother of a 3-year-old boy a neighbor found alone early Saturday in a southwest Atlanta apartment complex.
Neal, a resident of the complex, said she left for work before sunrise. She said an acquaintance agreed to take care of the toddler until she returned. But somehow Marquez got outside and was picked up by neighbor Gwendolyn Harris, who went door to door looking for his mother. Harris then called police, who alerted the public and asked for information that would lead to Marquez's mother.
The search had apartment residents on edge, even prompting action among Channel 2 Action News Facebook followers, who shared the alert more than 2,000 times.
Neal said she was unaware about the ordeal until relatives called.
"Quez is in (Department of Family and Children Services)? What? I just broke down, started crying, didn't want to talk anymore," cried Neal.
Meanwhile, Marquez is in DFCS' custody pending an investigation. Police want to know who was supposed to be caring for the child and how he was able to leave the apartment home in the middle of the night.
Neal is afraid she could lose her son.
"They might keep my baby," she cried.
She hopes her son get this message: "Marquez, I love you. Momma misses you."