Chesterfield woman saves toddler wandering in freezing streets

Chesterfield woman saves toddler wandering in freezing streets

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Two young kids are safe, and their mother is in jail. For the first time, the father is explaining what happened.

The kids were found wandering the streets, just before 2 a.m. on Sunday, when the thermometer was showing near record low temperatures. A woman helped saved the two children.

"It's not every day a little kid runs and jumps into your arms," the woman said.

Lucky for the young boy. he jumped into the arms of the woman who helped save him.

"My first thought was, 'Where are your parents?' " Alicia Derby-Linenberger recalled.

She didn't see anyone in the parking lot when she got home just after 1:30 a.m., but it was nearing record cold temperatures Sunday morning.

"It was frigid, I was bundled up and I was cold and like I said he was in a shirt, a diaper, and slipped on shoes so I know he was cold," Derby-Linenberger said.

She called to her boyfriend, who called 911 while she worked to figure out who the boy was.

"I thought he looked about two so I held up my fingers and asked him, 'Are you this many?' and he said, 'Yes.' "

With police on the way, Alicia kept him warm in her car.

"My car was still really warm. I had the heat on full blast. I put him in the car. I sat in there with him, and he cuddled up with me for warmth," said Derby-Linenberger.

It didn't take Chesterfield Police long to get there. They were just down the block at a BP where the little boy's young sister was found. The kids' mother, Jaquana Brown-Clark, was eventually located and is in jail on two charges of felony child neglect.

The kids' dad talked about what happened on a Facebook Live video.

The father, Terry Ridley said in his video, "What you saw on the news was absolutely true. The kids were found wandering out in the cold."

Wearing the same jacket she had on in the photos released by police, the young girl appears alongside her dad in the video.  The kids were checked out at the hospital and are doing just fine.  But how did this happen in the first place?

"She was still in the complex, but she was sitting inside of a car talking to somebody when I guess she fell asleep and that's when the kids had wandered out," Ridley said.

Though Chesterfield Police have not confirmed exactly what the mother was doing while all of this happened but we'll follow up and let you know what we learn.

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