Caretaker charged with child abuse after toddler left in vehicle that was stolen

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - A woman has been charged with child abuse after Jacksonville police got a call about a stolen vehicle with a two-year-old inside.

Police said it happened Saturday night in the parking lot of Little Caesar's Pizza on Henderson Drive.

Officers soon spotted the stolen vehicle and chased it until it struck a stop sign at Fairway Drive and North Marine Boulevard. The driver and a passenger jumped out and police were able to catch one of them.

Officers say no child was found in the vehicle.

911 reported there was an open call coming from the victim's cell phone which was in the vehicle when it was stolen. They were able to trace that phone to a business on Gum Branch Road, less than a block from the Little Ceasar's. The child was found behind the business.

Their investigation showed that the two-year-old was left unattended in the vehicle before it was stolen. Elizabeth Admundson, 48, of Jacksonville, was charged with child abuse. Police say she was a caretaker of the child.

The driver of the stolen vehicle is underage so police say they cannot release any information about them. Police say they're still investigating the circumstances, including whether the two-year-old was in the vehicle when it was taken and if those who took the vehicle left the toddler behind the other business.

Admundson was given a $2,000 secured bond on the misdemeanor charge.