HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) — Police charged a Henrico mother with child abuse and neglect after a neighbor saw the woman leave her 11-month-old son on a doorstep and drive away, according to Henrico Police spokeswoman Lt. Linda Toney.
The Winchester Street neighbor knew no one was at the house, so she called a family member to come home and care for the child, police said.
“When officers arrived, there where already other people there that were taking care of the child,” said Toney. “And what we’ve learned is that someone knew no one was home at this residence. And so, they called a family member that lived there in the residence to let them know a child had been dropped off.”
Toney would not comment on whether or not Tompkins and the eyewitness knew each other, but says the baby was in good condition and fully clothed when it was discovered on May 31.
“We are very fortunate in this situation that there was a witness who was willing to step forward and say, ‘Hey, I see something… not right here,’ and call and make sure we can get help,” said Toney.
Police arrested 22-year-old Tatinia Tompkins on Wednesday at her New Bridge apartment. She is being held without bond at the Henrico County Jail until a court hearing scheduled on July 29 at 2 p.m.
“I think it’s horrible,” said neighbor Dorothy Fisher, who recalled seeing the 22-year-old walking through the Eastern Henrico community several times. “She would have maybe a dollar store bag [or] a Food Lion bag, but I never saw her with a baby. No baby stroller or nothing.”
Brittany, a woman who calls herself a close friend of Tompkins, says she doesn’t believe the allegations.
“It’s not the truth. I don’t think she would do something like that. I don’t think she did it,” said Brittany. “She’s a good mama. I don’t understand where this is coming from.”
According to Virginia’s Safe Haven law, you can leave your baby up to 14 days old with an employee at any hospital emergency room or an rescue squad. Any mother with a child over that age should call police to seek help in a different way.