Future of child abandoned in Delaware hinges on investigation

    What happens next to the toddler abandoned at a Newark, Delaware gas station last week will in part depend on where an investigation leads law enforcement.

    UPDATE:  Police in suburban New York have apparently linked the toddler abandoned at a Newark gas station to the death of a woman found in a park in Ramapo, NY.  The Journal News in New York’s Lower Hudson Valley reports that the unidentified woman’s body was found in the park after it had been set on fire Monday morning.  Police don’t say how the woman is linked to the abandoned girl.

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    What happens next to the toddler abandoned at a Newark, Delaware  gas station last week will in part depend on where an investigation leads law enforcement.

    The toddler, a female believed to be around two, remains with a foster family in Delaware, but that could change now that Newark police believe they’ve successfully identified the child  and the focus of the investigation has shifted to Middlesex County, New Jersey.

    “She’s currently still in the care of the State of Delaware, pending any kind of filing from the State of New Jersey to have her transferred to their care.” according to Delaware Division of Family Services spokesman Joseph Smack.

    A hearing is scheduled in Delaware Family Court Wednesday to determine how the child will be cared for next, but Smack says that could change depending on the investigation.

    “That’s a matter for the Department of Justice to determine if the hearing is still going to take place, or if they will defer.” said Smack, “It is very difficult to say what exact time any filings will take place.”

    Smack says a hearing would look at the relationship of anyone who has stepped forward to say they are related to the child, and whether or not the child would be going into a safe environment.

    Authorities says the toddler is good health and appears both happy and friendly and, for now, Delaware officials are prepared to continue caring for the child.

    “It changes very little for us.  Our primary concern, of course, is her safety and well-being.” added Smack, “We’ll continue to do that until such time as the State of New Jersey request the transfer.”

    Newark police say they’re not able to release more information about who the child she is due to the on-going investigation involving multiple jurisdictions.  The Middlesex County, New Jersey prosecutor’s office has yet to comment on the investigation it now leads.

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