A surveillance footage of a woman leaving a two-year-old boy on a stranger's doorstep in Houston is going viral. The incident reportedly occurred on Wednesday night outside a home in Spring, Texas.
The footage shows the woman carrying the child by the arm, setting him down on the front steps of a house and frantically ringing the doorbell and knocking at the door. After just a few seconds, she runs back to her car and drives away from the scene, leaving the child confused as he looks at her and then at the door.
The video was widely circulated on social media after Montgomery County Sheriff's Office urged the public to help identify the boy in the footage.
While many believe that the woman in the footage was the child's mother, the Sheriff's Office on Thursday released more details about the incident and the circumstances which led the woman to drop off the child there.
According to authorities, the woman was identified as a friend of the child's mother. The incident reportedly unfolded when the child's mother was in the hospital. Reports state that the woman, seen in the video, apparently mistook the house for the home of the child's father, who lived next door.
@MCTXSheriff investigating abandoned child.— MCTXSheriff (@MCTXSheriff) October 18, 2018
Deputies are hoping the public can help identify the woman in the video and pictures. She abandoned a two year old child at a residence in south Montgomery County last night. pic.twitter.com/5KGBO1kfzJ
The Sheriff's office explained the situation, saying that the woman thinking she had left the child outside his father's house "left [the] location without verifying anyone was home or who she was releasing the child [to]."
According to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth, the woman, whose identity has not been revealed, now faces a charge of child abandonment, which is a felony charge.
Lt. Scott Spencer with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, during a press conference on Thursday, said that the homeowner immediately called law enforcement after finding the child outside the home. The officers then reviewed the security footage and canvased the neighborhood, asking residents if they recognized the child.
The boy's father, who lived next door to where the child was abandoned, recognized him the next day. Reports state that he was not at home when police officials canvased the area first.
"During their investigation, detectives learned the father of the child received a text from the mother of the child that a friend was going to drop off the child in the early afternoon. When the child did not show up at the residence, the father assumed plans had changed for the mother and left the home," Spencer said. The mother, however, did not know that the child was left outside the wrong home.
The boy is reportedly in the custody of Child Protective Services now, and the organization will eventually determine whether he should be returned to the family or not.