Authorities in Madera County are figuring out why a mom would leave her child alone. Yesenia Toledo, 29, disappeared Thursday, but was found Friday night. There’s still a lot not known about her disappearance and those details can make the difference in how severe Toledo could be charged.
It started as a call for help. Toledo’s boyfriend, Jaime Garcia, 27, returned to their Madera County home Thursday and found their four month old child completely alone. He left with one of their children for a brief amount of time, according to the Madera County Sheriff’s Office.
Toledo was found at a home on the 1300 block of Concord Avenue in Madera around 11:30 p.m. Friday. There was no evidence to suggest she was kidnapped, or that she was being held against her will. On those grounds, the sheriff’s office is recommending child endangerment charges be filed against her.
Criminal defense attorney Roger Wilson said there’s a lot of things that could effect the severity of a child endangerment charge. For example — how long she left her child alone for, if the child was injured, and why she left in the first place.
“If she left because of drugs or alcohol, that’s going to have a bearing on the case. Also, a bearing on her punishment if she gets convicted. The district attorney will look at that as being more of a willful neglect,” Wilson said.
Based onthe facts right now, Wilson said this is a stark difference from the abandonment case from Monday. He said in that one, it’s clearly a felony.
“When you leave the child at a situation that could lead to serious injury, great bodily injury, even death — then yeah, that’s felony conduct,” he said.
A felony child endangerment charge couldlead up to six years in prison.
Garcia was actually arrested Friday for being found with a stolen firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The sheriff’s office said Garcia and Toledo’s children are with family members.