BROOKFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – A Brookfield mom was arrested on previous warrants for child endangering charges after her missing child was found Thursday morning by a driver.
Julie Gudzinas was booked into the Trumbull County Jail. Police say that they plan to add additional charges related to Thursday morning’s incident.
Around 1:30 a.m., officers arrived at the 5000 block of Everett East Road. That’s when the search began.
According to dispatchers, it was someone driving by that found the child wandering in the street. The driver of the car said he thought the girl might have been a small animal. The driver and a passenger took the child to the house after seeing the police lights. That is when the child was reunited with the family, who was about a mile away.
“I was shaking. My anxiety was through the roof. I picked her up, and I mean, she was shaking, and I was scared because of how she was screaming. It was like she was getting hurt, and I just can’t imagine what was going through her head. I mean she’s 3. She was scared,” said the passenger, Destiny Dutting.
The driver described the neighborhood as heavily wooded and with animals. It’s also a very dark road. He said the little girl is lucky to be alive.
“We thought she was a little deer on the side of the road, maybe a little fawn. That was my first thought. But when we realized who it was, we were like, ‘Oh my God, we found her,” said driver Kennan Moore.
Dispatch said Children Services was contacted.
Gudzinas was arraigned Thursday morning on her previous charges, where bond was set at $5,000. A no-contact order was issued for the 3-year-old and also for the victims of the charges for which she is being held.
According to a police report, those charges were filed after a family member reported that Gudzinas stole her vehicle in May. The family member told police that Gudzinas had said she was going to pick her kids up from school, but no one came to pick them up. She was later found in the Pittsburgh area, where the car was on the side of the road after running out of gas. Police say she had her younger children with her at the time.
According to the report, the children — ages 3 and 9 months old — were sitting in their feces and had not eaten since between 8 and 10 a.m., though it was around 8 p.m. at that time.
The report states that Gudzinas seemed confused about her whereabouts and there were concerns for her mental well-being.
Brian Oehlbeck and Chelsea Simeon contributed to this report.