Mother arrested after child found in ditch, near traffic

By Andy Jenks - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A Henrico mother faces a charge of child neglect, after police say her daughter was found wandering near traffic.

Henrico Police arrested Shauna E. Flack of the 100 block of Engleside Drive early Friday morning.

She's now facing possible jail time on the felony charge.

The child is going to be okay, but police say it's a miracle the little girl wasn't hit by a car.

It was 1:45am Friday, and pitch dark outside, when a random driver noticed a little girl, two to three years old, wearing just her pajamas.

She was walking in the ditch line at East Laburnum Avenue and Conway Street.

There was no one else around, and only one thing that driver could do.

"They stopped, picked up the child, and notified police," said Lt. Hank Smith of Henrico Police.

The girl pointed out that she lived in the nearby Essex Village apartments.

Officers went there and found no sign of the girl's parents.

It wasn't until two hours later that police say they located her mother, Shauna Flack, who was later arrested.

No one answered the door at Flack's apartment, but neighbors were stunned to hear the story of her arrest.

"If I had to go somewhere important, I would've gotten somebody just to watch baby for a second, or for anything," said Shana Williams, who lives in Essex Village.

Tara Mealy lives near the busy intersection, and she says that's about as close as her kids will ever get to it.

"Now you gotta really watch your children because peoples out here real crazy," Mealy said.

Police were unable to say what Flack was doing for the two hours they were looking for her.

Also unclear is how her very young daughter not only got outside, but near a four-lane roadway at 1:45am.

"If the child had wandered out into the road, and thank goodness this did not happen, the misfortune of having  her get struck by a vehicle or something like that, would've been an obvious tragedy," said Lt. Smith.

The child was never hurt, perhaps only frightened. Child Protective Services was notified, and the little girl is now being cared for by a relative while police try to answer the remaining questions.

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