Mother accused of leaving 8-year-old after she asked her to slow down while driving, records state

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Wednesday, September 14, 2022
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HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A mother accused of leaving her 8-year-old daughter alone in the parking lot of a bank to fend for herself, according to Harris County Constable Precinct 2's Office.

Zaida Gonzalez is charged with abandoning and endangering a child without intent to return, according to the Harris County District Clerk's site.

On Monday at about 4:15 a.m., deputies responded to a call of a missing juvenile in the 11500 block of Grapewood. At the scene, deputies canvassed the area and began looking for the young girl.

As the search for the girl went into the morning hours, authorities got a call at about 8 a.m. from the child's father that she had been found.

When authorities talked with the girl and her father, the 8-year-old said she was with her mom, Gonzalez, who was allegedly driving drunk and erratically. When the girl told her mother to slow down, she was told to get out of the car, according to authorities.

Gonzalez then left her daughter in the parking lot of a bank, where she walked .6 miles, alone in the dark to a nearby gas station for help, records state.

A clerk at the gas station called the Houston Police Department, as well as another family member who was able to get the girl.

Surveillance video from a nearby business confirmed the story, authorities said.

At about 11:11 a.m. deputies returned to Gonzalez's home, where she was taken into custody without incident. She is out on a $10,000 bond.

Records show this is not Gonzalez's first incident, and in 2007 she was charged with endangering a child.