FAR ROCKAWAY, Queens - A day care worker has been arrested after a 5-year-old girl wandered alone into a store in Queens.
Trimeka Crum, 35, of Queens, is charged with acting in a manner injurious to a child.
Authorities say Essiah Miller Love was found hungry and alone at Three Brothers Meat Market Wednesday evening, sending police on a mad scramble to locate her family.
Picture of Essiah:
She reportedly walked into the market at 1326 Central Avenue in Far Rockaway around 6:30 p.m., asking for food.
An employee realized she was alone and called police. After releasing the girl's photo to the media, police reunited Essiah with her aunt hours later.
"I think we were more scared than her," store owner Carlos Cruz said. "She was really quiet, and she was fine. She was fine. She was acting really brave, not crying, not yelling. She was normal, like she was in her house. We were scared to know where she came from."
Essiah's aunt has full custody of the girl. Essiah's mother lives outside the U.S. in Jamaica.
While investigating, the NYPD said officers determined the girl had been at a day care run by Crum. When Crum went to take the child home, police said she apparently didn't wait to see if the girl made it inside.
There was no one home, so the girl walked to the nearby deli.
Watch Crum escorted by police:
Woman arrested after 5-year-old from her day care found wandering
Officials with the Department of Health say that it appears the Queens day care license with the state was valid. However, given the recent events, it is expected that officials will recommend that the state Office of Children and Family Services suspended the license.