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Photo courtesy Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office

VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas — An East Texas mother is facing felony charges after police say she left her four-year-old child with disabilities at a lake, returned home approximately 40 miles away from the lake, then reported the child missing from their residence.

On Monday, May 4, 2020, at approximately 6:53 p.m., the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to the 10000 block of Farm-to-Market (FM) 1651 in the Whitton community of Van Zandt County in reference to the missing four-year-old child, with disabilities, who allegedly wandered off from a residence.

Through investigation, it was discovered the mother had actually left the child at Lake Holbrook in Wood County after a family outing — some 40 miles away from the family's residence and the focus of an extensive, multi-agency search.

The child was discovered by concerned Lake Holbrook-area residents who contact the Wood County Sheriff's Office.

The child was released to the Texas Child Protective Services and placed with grandparents, according to the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office.

"Van Zandt and Wood County Sheriff Office Criminal Investigation Divisions worked in conjunction to investigate this incident where felony criminal charges were filed against the mother of the child," stated the sheriff's office.

In response to the initial missing child report, members of the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office, Whitton Volunteer Fire Department, Canton Police Department, Van Zandt County Constables Office, Pct. 4, Van Zandt County Precinct Watch Program and the Texas Department of Public Safety all responded to the Whitton-area residence to search for the child.

The mother, at the time of press, had not been identified by police.

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