The mother of the 2-year-old girl who was found wandering around an Anthem neighborhood around 4 a.m. yesterday has been arrested on a child-abuse charge.
Turns out, yesterday was not 22-year-old Nikki Hockett's first run-in with Child Protective Services.
A man leaving for work around 4:30 a.m. yesterday found the 2-year-old in his driveway and called the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, and while she was in good condition, she wasn't wearing shoes, and had a saturated diaper.
A Sheriff's Office spokesman said deputies checked all the houses within three blocks for an open door, a light on, or, you know, frantic parents, but no leads were found.
Shortly after 7 a.m., about 2 1/2 hours after her kid was found, Hockett finally showed up to the house where her daughter was found.
It took so long for Hockett to go looking for the kid that the Sheriff's Office was able to distribute a picture of the girl to local TV stations, the TV stations then aired it on early news broadcasts, an employee at a local Tutor Time recognized the girl, and informed the authorities. Hockett went looking for her kid 40 minutes later, according to MCSO.
Court documents obtained by New Times state that a CPS investigator interviewed Hockett, and this wasn't the first time.
Hockett's little girl, Skylynn, was taken from her in September due to Hockett's "neglect and drug use," court documents state. Initial court filings indicate police believe Hockett's still an addict.
CPS set up a "safety net" for the kid, giving custody to Hockett's grandparents, and only allowing visitation with Hockett's parents present.
This was ended in February, and Hockett was allowed to have the kid in her home, although CPS was still monitoring the home situation. However, that monitoring ended in late April, which proved to be unfortunate.
Hockett moved in with her boyfriend at her boyfriend's parents' house, where she was staying last night when her daughter walked out of the house and started roaming the neighborhood.
After speaking to her boyfriend and his family, a deputy discovered that Skylynn "was known for being able to unlock and open doors by herself," the court documents state.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
Hockett told investigators that she knew this, but her defense was that the knobs at her parents' house -- where she used to live -- were different from those at her boyfriend's house, and her daughter had never opened the doors at her boyfriend's house.
However, Hockett's daughter did open the door -- multiple doors, apparently -- and was wandering outside. Court documents note that the situation was especially dangerous as people were starting to get up and go to work at that time, and Anthem's kind of on the edge of Valley civilization, and there's a lot of free-roaming wildlife in the area.
Hockett was booked into jail on a felony child-abuse charge for negligence.