Los Angeles • Police in Los Angeles are trying to identify a possibly deaf or autistic little boy found at a busy train station after witnesses say a woman abandoned him.
Workers at a cafe in the station saw the boy, between 5 and 7, and the woman eating nearby on Wednesday evening. They began to worry later when he ran into their kitchen alone and they realized the woman was nowhere in sight, said Adrienne Garrett, supervisor at Cafe Crepe.
Garrett said she and other workers looked for the woman to no avail but she wandered back about 30 minutes later, prompting one worker to tell her that she should be taking care of her child.
“We asked her to come back but she literally walked out the front door,” Garrett said. “She did not even acknowledge anything at all. She was silent and kept walking and that’s when we decided to get security.”
Police bought the boy an ice cream and when he still appeared hungry, Garrett said she gave him some chicken fingers, French fries and apple juice.
Police are reviewing surveillance video for clues about the woman’s identity and are spreading the boy’s photo on social media in hopes that someone will recognize him.
Police said he may be deaf or autistic because he doesn’t communicate. A sign language interpreter tried to communicate with the boy but was unsuccessful.
Garrett said the boy was in good spirits when she was around him.
“He was very energetic, he seemed to be happy but it was just unfortunate we couldn’t communicate with him,” she said. “I tried asking, ‘Do you know where your parents are? Can I help you find them?’ And there was no response at all. Just smiling and laughing.”
She said she was heartbroken for the boy and hopes a family member recognizes him and is able to properly care for him.
“I don’t understand how anyone in their right mind would do that,” she said. “It’s a young boy, it’s the Fourth of July, and it’s Union Station — anything can happen. It’s really upsetting she felt comfortable leaving him here.”