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Toddler OK after spending night in Phoenix yard, mother charged

PHOENIX -- Authorities say a mother has been arrested after her toddler child spent the night alone outside in a Phoenix backyard amid intermittent rains.

Police say the child, who appeared to be about 2 years old, was found by the home's residents Saturday morning. Police identified the woman as 20-year-old Melynie Susunkewa, who was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on child abuse charges.

The child appeared to be in good condition and was checked by medics and placed temporarily with Child Protective Services.

Police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump says in an email that Susunkewa had been at a party Friday night near where the child was found. He says that she said she got upset, left the party and doesn't recall what she did with her child.

Susunkewa told police she "had been fighting with the boy's father about her past relationships and was upset because a female at the party wanted to fight her," according to a release.

Susunkewa then ran from the party, jumping several residential fences and hid under several vehicles before blacking out for several hours, according to police.

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