HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police in New Jersey have charged a woman after they said a postal worker found her 5-year-old daughter outside with no one home.
It happened around 11 a.m. last Tuesday on Canal Way in Hackettstown.
Police said the postal worker found the little girl on the sidewalk in front of her home.
“The closer I got to her, I realized that she looked upset. I parked my truck and walked over to her, and she was trembling,” Beverly Bohannon told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis. “But then when she calmed down a little bit, she said she was alone and I said, ‘OK, where do you live?’ And she pointed at her house.”
She flagged down a Mount Olive fire marshal, who happened to be nearby and called police.
“I looked in my rear-view mirror, and she was waving frantically, so I turned back around. As I approached her, I noticed the little girl was crying,” Marc Muccione said. “It’s heartbreaking. I have a 7-year-old myself and I have a 14-year-old, so when you see a little kid crying, you get upset.”
Police said they later determined 41-year-old Alison Gamba left her daughter home alone for the day while she went to work in Whippany — about 40 minutes away from the home.
“We don’t know what could have happened to the child. If the child could have wandered off farther, somebody could have picked her up, she could have got hurt. So what the postal worker did was an excellent thing,” Sgt. Darren Tynan said.
“She just said that she woke up and she went in her mom’s room and she wasn’t there,” said Bohannon. “I feel relieved that I’m the one that found her. If that makes sense, you know, rather than the wrong person… I was just happy to have been there.”
Gamba was charged Monday with fourth-degree child neglect, police said. The little girl is now with her father.