| Crime |

Phoenix Mom Leaves Party, Abandons Toddler Son in Random Backyard, Cops Say

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A 1-year-old boy spent Friday night in a stranger's backyard after apparently being abandoned there by his mother, according to police.

The residents of the home, near 57th Avenue and Indian School Road, thought there was a stray cat making noise in their backyard all night, police say. When they took a look in their backyard around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, they found the child, near their unfenced and mostly empty pool.

Police sent out the information to media Saturday morning in an attempt to find the child's parents, as there were no reports of a missing child, and police questioned neighbors, with no results.

"The child appeared to be uninjured and was checked by paramedics," Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump said in the alert. "The child was in relatively good condition considering it had been raining during the night."

According to court documents obtained by New Times, after the information was released to media, the child's grandmother called in, saying she had been unable to find the boy or his mother, 20-year-old Melynie Susnkewa, since they left a party on Friday night.

Police were able to meet up with Susnkewa, who was at an apartment complex about five miles away from where her son was found.

Susnkewa told police she had four alcoholic beverages (her boyfriend claimed that she "reeked" of alcohol) at this party -- which was held near the property where her son was found the next morning -- before leaving, according to court documents.

Court documents state she had been fighting with her boyfriend and another woman and started jumping over fences after leaving the party.

Susnkewa told police she didn't remember if she took her son with her when she left the party, but she said it was possible that she did, according to the court documents. Based on interviews with other people, police believe she did have her son when she left.

Susnkewa said she didn't believe she would have taken her son from the home without taking his diaper bag and other supplies with her, but added that she didn't remember what happened, the court documents state. Thus, police believe she's the one responsible for leaving her son in that backyard.

Susnkewa was booked into jail on a felony child-abuse charge. A judge ordered her to be released with supervision Sunday morning. As a condition of her release, she's not allowed to initiate contact with her son.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

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Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.

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