On Tuesday afternoon, a mother in Riverside, California, Chiengkham Vilaysane, 31, was arrested for allegedly abandoning her child at a grocery store. Vilaysane, according to Riverside Police Department spokesman Officer Ryan Railsback, was arrested at a bank.
KTLA 5 reported that Railsback referred to Vilaysane as “Cindy.” Railsback stated that the suspect “may have had past contact with county child protective services and police at her last known address in Riverside.” As of Monday, according to Q13 Fox, nobody had reported the 2-year-old girl missing.
Besides the suspect’s photo and name, according to KTLA 5, on Monday, the Riverside Police Department released video footage that showed a woman leaving a 2-year-old girl in a Food 4 Less on Van Buren Blvd. Sunday evening. KABC-TV reported that while they were inside, the child wandered off from Vilaysane, and she never tried to look for her. Instead, she simply continued to do her shopping.
A customer at the Food 4 Less, credited with being a “good Samaritan,” brought the woman’s daughter back to her. According to a police news release, the suspect responded, “Oh, just leave her.”
Riverside police said that, when the toddler viewed the store’s surveillance video, she identified the woman as her mother. Vilaysane’s 2-year-old daughter has since been handed over to the custody of county child protective services.
On Monday, Detective Paul Miranda said investigators received tips about the woman’s identity after media coverage was released, showing the suspect’s apparent abandonment of her 2-year-old daughter.
Officers with the Riverside Police Department were called to the store when the child was found alone. Vilaysane reportedly left the Food 4 Less store after paying for her groceries, leaving her young daughter at the store.
Investigators are still trying to answer many questions about the incident. One such question is whether Vilaysane may have suffered a breakdown which might have led to her abandoning the child. Also, some of Vilaysane’s Facebook posts show her with a second child, but, according to Railsback, it is not yet known if the suspect “has another child or if that child is a relative.” He added that the identity of the abandoned child’s father is not known at this time.
Railsback said that Vilaysane could face charges of felony child endangerment or abandonment. However, he said it was more important for police to determine what is going on with the mother and how they can help her first.
After having allegedly abandoned her 2-year-old daughter at a Food 4 Less grocery store in Riverside, California, on Sunday, Chiengkham Vilaysane, 31, was subsequently arrested on Tuesday. One of Vilaysane’s Facebook pages says she is employed by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. However, she has never worked there.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy Riverside Police Department