Mother charged with child neglect after abandoning baby in vehicle

by: Deanna Bettineschi Updated:


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Police said De’Janny Raggins is now behind bars after she left her child in a man’s car Saturday evening.

Action News is told Raggins is booked in the Duval County Jail on $50,000 bond.

According to the police report, Raggins was walking down San Juan Avenue with her child and walked up to a man’s truck and placed her baby in the passenger’s seat.

The report states the man inside that truck asked Raggins what was going on, but she didn’t respond.

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Police say she then got a call on her cellphone and walked away, leaving her child behind.
“It's crazy,” said neighbor Jordan Grooms.
Grooms lives just a street over from where police say this happened.
“I came out my house and sat on the front porch, and helicopters and everything were circling around,” said Grooms.

Police say they got calls from Raggins and her family during this time.

Police eventually found her 4 miles away at a Taco Bell.

In the report, it says that detectives took her into custody and asked her if she knew what she was being detained for.

She replied, “Because someone took my baby.”

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Police say the baby is now in the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families.
“This could have been much worse. It’s very disturbing to imagine a parent would do this to a child,” said DCF spokesman John Harrell.
DCF said it is continuing to investigate this case. DCF also said that Raggins' second child is in the custody of relatives and has been for some time before Saturday's incident.

Custody of the baby left in the truck by Raggins will be determined by a judge. Relatives who want to be eligible to have the child will have to go through a background check.
DCF said there is help for mothers who feel like they can no longer take care of their child. All they have to do is dial 2-1-1.

"Find out about services, whether it's counseling, therapy, parenting assistance services to help you, but never do something like this," Harrell said.

MORE RESOURCES: United Way 2-1-1