Editors note: As of August 15, 2022, the State of New Mexico has dismissed the case without prejudice. According to court documents, “the defendant has been accepted into the Pre Prosecution Divisions Program pursuant to an agreement between the parties. Should the defendant fail to complete the program, the state may refile the case.”

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New video shows the aftermath after a three-year-old was found walking alone in the middle of the night trying to get into a neighbor’s home and his mother was nowhere to be found around 4:30 in the morning of July 24. Deputies found the little boy in a neighborhood near Atrisco and Arenal in Southwest Albuquerque. He was found wearing only a diaper and a blanket in the middle of the night. A neighbor pointed them in the right direction and when they found his home, they were shocked at what they found.

Deputies approached the home and found several doors wide open. After they called out several times, a woman finally emerged who was identified as the little boy’s grandmother. After a quick search of the home, it’s confirmed the boy lives there and is indeed missing. His mom, Randee Garcia, is not there.

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While police waited for Garcia to return, they talked about the condition of the home and described it as a mess. Garcia arrived minutes later, saying she went to a friend’s house while the grandmother was still in the home. She says she had planned to come back at that time. Garcia says the little boy had gotten out of the house twice before, and the last time had been five months ago, but not at night like this. “Just so you know, what’s going to happen tonight, we’re gonna open up a CYFD case,” one deputy says.

Deputies tell Garcia the home needs to be cleaned up. “There’s rotten food on the floor, it looks like there’s dog feces.” The little boy was returned to his family that night but in the morning, Randee Garcia was arrested for child abuse.

However, in the video, she says she doesn’t understand why and maintains she didn’t do anything wrong: “I swear to God I love my kids. I would never put my kids in danger.”

A spokesperson for the Children, Youth, and Families Department would not tell us where the boy was, but that he is safe. Garcia was released on her own recognizance after being arrested. She has a status conference on August 24 in Metro Court.