Fayetteville mom arrested after toddler found wandering streets

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Two-year-old Zoe Grace was in a diaper, walking around in the street when a passing driver found her.

A Fayetteville mother has been arrested in connection with child neglect after her 2-year-old daughter was found wandering in the street.

Fayetteville police officers found the child earlier Tuesday afternoon and began the search for her parents. They eventually found them and reunited little Zoe Grace with her mother.

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A driver noticed her wandering alone in the Shaw Road area and notified authorities.

Evangela Jones



Officers spent two hours knocking on doors in search of Zoe's parents.

"I just think God put me in the right place in the right time," said Courtney Thomas, a daycare worker who found the toddler. "Because when I come to my sister's house, I never come down Shaw Road. This is the second time I've come down this road and I feel like God put me in the right place at the right time to get the little girl."



Officers and DSS workers questioned the toddler's father, Vincent Steele, who told them he was asleep when Zoe somehow slipped out of the house.

Steele told officers he was napping because he works three jobs. He said Zoe's mother, Evagela Jones, was supposed to be watching the baby, but she left and didn't tell him.

Authorities charged Jones with misdemeanor child neglect.

Zoe Grace is reunited with her mother.



Jones was visibly shaken as she was reunited with her baby, but that reunion didn't last long as Jones was hauled away just minutes after arriving at the scene.



The toddler has been placed with other family members for now. Social Services is conducting an investigation into the little girl's home environment.

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