The mother of the toddler left in a Winnipeg recycling bin on New Year's Day said she's ashamed about what happened to her daughter — and thankful to the man who found her.
Police allege the 22-month-old girl was taken from a North End house party by the mother's 17-year-old brother and left in a nearby bin on Pritchard Avenue. The 17-year-old has been charged with a number of offences, including abandoning a child and causing bodily harm by criminal negligence.
The toddler wasn't dressed for the weather, which was –13 C but felt more like –24 with wind chill at the time of the incident.
"I felt really hurt that I let my daughter down," said the mother, who cannot be identified because her daughter is now in the care of Child and Family Services (CFS). "I felt bad as a parent that that happened to her."
Police said the toddler was in the recycling bin for around 15 minutes before a man who had also been at the party heard the cries and found her.
"I picked up this baby, and I yelled back out there to call the cops. I just found a baby in a garbage can," Robert Keno told CBC News last week when the story first broke.
The mother said she has reached out to Keno to say thank you.
"I'm so grateful that he saved her. I don't know where I'd be right now if he didn't find her," she said.
The mother said the girl is now OK and that she hopes to get her back soon from CFS.
She said she's not sure what may have motivated her brother to take the girl, except that he had been drinking.
Police said an altercation broke out at the party, and one person was chased away and went down the street. That person, it was later confirmed, was Keno.
The uncle then allegedly took the girl and rushed outside, where he fell, landing on the child and causing her to suffer a number of injuries, before putting her in the recycling bin.
The uncle is reported to have then returned to the party, where, according to police, he got into a physical altercation with a 13-year-old girl.
In the meantime, Keno heard the cries of the toddler, who was in a bin behind his home.
The girl was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries but has stabilized and is recovering.
The uncle is charged with:
- Possession or consumption of liquor by a minor.
- Causing bodily harm by criminal negligence.
- Abandoning a child.
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