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      Mother of wandering toddler facing child endangerment charge

      Yards from the busiest street in Weslaco a resident going out for a smoke spots a little girl wearing a pink dress with no shoes.

      It was 2:30 a.m. and she was alone.

      "He thought it was kind of weird approached the child and called us, we showed up," Officer David Barbosa, Weslaco Police Department, said.

      Police immediately started going door to door in the neighborhood hoping to find the parents of the three year-old girl.

      "We spent an hour to an hour and a half trying to locate the parents, Officer Barbosa said.

      Marlene Garcia was one of the neighbors who got a knock on her door.

      "I saw the little girl but I don TMt recognize her as being one of the children being around here," she said.

      Police continued searching for the parents well into Thursday morning.

      Finally nearly 10 hours after the toddler is found her mother and step-father show up at the police department to file a missing persons report.

      She was questioned then arrested and now facing a child endangerment charge.

      Her daughter now in the custody of child protective services.

      Neighbors say this area is no place for a child to be left alone after dark.

      "She could have gotten run over or gotten in bad hands, because there are alot of drug addicts around here that would do anything get their dope and sell a kid that would be easy, Garcia said. I don't seewhy a parent would do that.

      The mother told police the little girl was in the families bed last night when they went to bed and she is unsure how she got out of their house.

      Police say although the mother is now behind bars the most important this is that the child is safe.

      "There TMs are thousands of possibilities that could have gone wrong, good thing that everything turned out well that a Good Samaritan reported this," Officer Barbosa said.

      Right now police are not releasing the mothers name until she goes before a judge which is expected to happen sometime tomorrow.