Toddler found wandering Norcross motel

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NORCROSS, Ga. - A woman was arrested after her child was found alone inside a Norcross motel this week.

Police told Channel 2's Michael Buczyner the child's mother was asleep when officers arrived at the Rite for Us Inn and Suites early Monday. A hotel guest found the crying toddler alone and locked out of a room for more than two hours.

"They went on for probably 30 or more minutes banging on the doors with all manner of tools and fists before they actually gained access to the room using a key card," Gwinnett police Cpl. Jake Smith said.

According to a police report, the child's mother didn't immediately wake up when officers got into her room.

"Even once they were inside of the room, they had to yell at the suspect several times before she woke up," Smith told Buczyner.

The woman, Ashley Bearden, was charged with cruelty to children and reckless conduct. The report said Bearden told officers she lived in the room and must have forgotten to lock the door, so the child wouldn't leave.

Officers described the room as covered in trash. An officer also noted in the report that there was no food for the child in the room. The girl will be 2 in October.

"The most concerning issue of this is the child's safety and the condition she was living in," Smith said.

Bearden has since been released from jail, but her daughter was handed over to the girl's grandmother.



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