ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — Earlier this month, an Amber Alert was issued for a five-year-old girl. Now, her dad is being charged with losing track of her, leading to her brief disappearance.

The Albuquerque Police Department worked alongside the District Attorney’s Office to file a charge against Nicholas Clinton. He is accused of losing his 5-year-old daughter on December 5, 2022.

Authorities claimed Clinton was seen with his daughter around 6 p.m. on December 5 at a Central Avenue liquor store. The owner reported a man was at the store with a little girl, and he refused to serve the man because he was too intoxicated. The owner said the man left, and a woman was following them.

Clinton allegedly went back into the liquor store a second time, alone, and was refused again. After this, the owner claimed Clinton was getting violent, so he maced him. He reportedly gave Clinton some water to rinse his eyes.

Surveillance footage showed the woman taking the girl east on Central. Clinton reportedly returned to the shelter that night without his daughter.

A woman who was found with the girl the next morning on a bus was interviewed.

She said she found the girl the night before at a tent on Virginia Street SE. She said the girl was sleeping in a tent of a man she knew and recognized her because she was normally living at a shelter with her dad.

The woman and the owner of the tent decided to let the girl stay with them that night since they had enough blankets. The tent owner claimed a different woman dropped off the child around 8:30 p.m. Police weren’t able to get a hold of the woman who left the girl at the tent.

Story continues below:

The night the girl was missing, detectives said the temperatures were in the 40s, and the homeless camp wasn’t a safe environment for the child.

An arrest warrant for a child abuse charge has been issued for Clinton.