- The girl's mother left her at a Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant
- The woman didn't realize her oversight till the next morning
- Police will decide whether to press charges against the mother of 10
A mother of 10 who threw a birthday party for her 5-year-old daughter at a Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant in suburban Houston, Texas, apparently forgot about the girl, went home without her and failed to realize her mistake until the next day, police said Friday.
"She was remorseful. She was upset," Pearland police investigator Jeff Mink said by phone. "But the question still arises, how and why the child was left behind? And why it took so long for the mother to realize the child was still missing?"
A restaurant worker alerted police to the abandoned child at 10:50 p.m. Thursday, but the mother did not report her missing until 7:50 a.m. Friday, Mink said.
The woman left the restaurant at 10 p.m. with her other nine children and it wasn't until she was getting them ready for school the next morning that she realized her mistake, Mink said. He added that the mother, a relative and a friend were the only adults involved in hosting the event, which was attended by 19 children
Police planned to analyze surveillance video from the restaurant before deciding whether to file charges against the mother, who has no record, Mink said.
Meanwhile, the child has been placed in the custody of Child Protection Services.
Restaurant staff referred media calls to the chain's home office, which was closed at the time.