An uncommunicative boy left alone at Union Station on Independence Day was reunited Thursday with a family member and police later took into custody a woman believed to be the boy’s biological mother after she returned to the transit depot.
Spurred by all the publicity that surrounded the child’s Wednesday night discovery, someone stepped forward to identify the boy, who was subsequently reunited with relatives, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said.
The boy was initially believed to be deaf and possibly autistic, and his inability to communicate hampered the investigation into how he ended up attended and who had left him at the station, according to LAPD Sgt. Hector Guzman.
An American Sign Language interpreter was summoned to try to communicate with the boy, who is 7 years old, but was unsuccessful, the sergeant said.
A witness told reporters she had seen the boy with a woman at Union Station, and the woman walked away alone.
Detectives working with Department of Child and Family Services personnel were interviewing family members to find out what happened and if the boy has developmental issues that prevented him from communicating with police, Guzman said.
The unattended child was discovered around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles by LAPD Transit Services Division officers and was turned over to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
“He’s cute. He’s clean. He belongs to somebody,” LAPD Lt. Leonard Perez said earlier. “He obviously didn’t get here by himself.”
Guzman said the woman taken into custody showed up at Union Station just before 2 p.m. Thursday and officers made contact with her and gathered information that led them to believe that she was the boy’s biological mother and was responsible for him being left alone.
Late Thursday afternoon, police said the woman had been booked on suspicion of felony child endangerment.
Anyone with information to help identify the woman who was with the boy at Union Station was asked to call the LAPD’s Transit Services Division at (213) 922-1410. Tipsters can also call the LAPD’s 24-hour tipline at (877) 527-3247 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.