The father of a three-year-old girl, Audrey, thought to have been abandoned at the Grove shopping center in Los Angeles on Sunday, has come forward to claim her and said the whole situation was a big “misunderstanding.”
“There was some confusion” between the girl’s relatives and her father on coordinating her pickup at the shopping center in L.A.’s Fairfax district, LAPD Lt. Jay Mastick told reporters at a Sunday presser, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Her father told police that he was supposed to meet Audrey, along with a family member, at the Grove to take a holiday picture with her and Santa Claus, notes the Times. However, when he failed to spot them, he thought they had not shown up and left.
Parking attendants reportedly called police to notify them when an unidentified woman dropped Audrey off around 6 p.m., along with a car seat, in the valet area of the Grove mall and she was left unattended. She was taken to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services before her father came to claim her.
A reunion was made possible thanks to numerous broadcasts by news and media outlets blaring Audrey’s image on the screen. Audrey’s grandfather reportedly noticed her photograph while he was watching TV and notified her father, who told authorities he had been trying to get in touch with her before he got wind of the news.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter: @AdelleNaz