The missing mother of a toddler who wandered alone into a newsagent’s shop in Wigan has been arrested on suspicion of child neglect.
She is believed to be with the police while her son is being taken into the care of social services.
The boy, believed to be two, walked into C&L Oliver newsagents on Belle Green Lane in Higher Ince at about 4.20pm on Friday.
The child, who was all alone and dressed in warm clothes, was taken away by police.
Three hours later, GMP published an urgent appeal to re-unite the boy with his parents or guardian.
He was at Wigan police station being cared for by staff while officers concentrated their efforts on finding his parents. Concern for their safety grew as nobody had reported the little boy missing.
But tonight a spokesman for GMP confirmed the mother HAD been located by officers.
A woman has been arrested on suspicion of child-neglect.
The boy has been taken into the care of social services and is said to be safe and doing well.
A GMP spokesperson said: “We have identified a parent and the boy is safe and doing well.
“A woman has been arrested on suspicion of neglecting a child.
“She is currently being interviewed by officers.
“Enquiries are ongoing to understand how the boy came to be on his own.”
The toddler spent about half-an-hour in the newsagent, C&L Oliver, before police arrived.
Staff there described how the youngster spoke few words but repeatedly said ‘mamma’.
The shop’s owner, Zohaid Arshad, 29, told the M.E.N: “He was OK. We gave him chocolate and a magazine and made sure he was OK. We looked after him and gave him anything he wanted.”
A customer had raised the alarm after the boy walked into the shop and the police arrived about 30 minutes later, said Mr Arshad.
The child has spoken a few words in English and appeared to be cheerful and in good health.
Before the mother was located, Insp Nicola Williams from GMP’s Wigan team said: “The little boy was appropriately dressed for the cold weather but has not been reported missing.
“He is currently playing in the police station after having a little nap.
“He obviously must be scared however and just wants to go home.
“We are very keen to hear from anyone who may know who this boy is and where he has come from.”
The toddler was said to be ‘right as rain’ at Wigan police station, where he was being looked after by officers.
Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101 quoting reference number 1336 of December 1.