Mother of wandering Anthem tot released from jail - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE

Mother of wandering Anthem tot released from jail

The girl, later identified as Skylynn Altizer, was found wandering a street in Anthem Tuesday morning. The girl, later identified as Skylynn Altizer, was found wandering a street in Anthem Tuesday morning.
Booking photo of Nikki Hockett. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Booking photo of Nikki Hockett. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Nikki Hockett is the girl's mother. (Source: Facebook) Nikki Hockett is the girl's mother. (Source: Facebook)
On Feb. 28, the court awarded the girl's father, James Altizer, supervised parenting time. (Source: Facebook) On Feb. 28, the court awarded the girl's father, James Altizer, supervised parenting time. (Source: Facebook)
An MCSO detective places the child in a car while the mother, right, holds a stuff animal. (Source: CBS 5 News) An MCSO detective places the child in a car while the mother, right, holds a stuff animal. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The mother of a 2-year-old girl found wandering around a neighborhood in Anthem has been released from jail.

Nichole Hockett was ordered released on her own recognizance after appearing in court Wednesday morning. She also requested her parents assume custody of her daughter rather than sending her to a foster home.

Hockett, 22, was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on suspicion of child abuse and endangerment after her daughter, dressed only in a nightshirt and diaper, was found by a person going to work at 4:30 Tuesday morning.

A television viewer's phone call led to Hockett's reunion with her daughter found wandering in a street in Anthem early Tuesday morning.

The girl, later identified as Skylynn Altizer, was wearing a blue shirt, saturated diaper and no shoes.

The viewer works at a local daycare center and recognized the girl's picture during a morning newscast. She called the mother, who then went to where deputies had the toddler, said Joaquin Enriquez of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office initially received a 911 call about 4:30 a.m. from a resident, Jeffrey DeHerrara, reporting Skylynn was in his driveway in the area of Morse Court and National Trail in Anthem.

DeHerrara said his son was leaving for work Tuesday morning when he found Skylynn sitting behind his truck.

Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies arrived and launched a house-to-house search in a three-block radius to no avail. Deputies then called Child Protective Services and the MCSO dispatcher to do a 911 reverse notification in a four-block area around 3526 West Morse Ct.

A CPS worker arrived at 6:45 a.m. and began to gather information, deputies said.

The TV viewer who saw Skylynn's picture was able to provide deputies with her address. Just after 7 a.m., the girl's mother arrived at the West Morse Court address and identified Skylynn as her child.

Hockett told authorities she and her daughter had been staying at a friend's home, which is about 100 yards from where her daughter was found, deputies said.

CPS took temporary custody of Skylynn. 

Enriquez said the girl's family was unaware she was missing until the daycare worker's phone call.

A records check indicated that on Feb. 28, the court awarded Hockett sole legal decision-making authority for Skylynn. The father, James Altizer, was permitted "reasonable supervised parenting time."

A CPS spokesperson told police Hockett had a previous CPS case that closed Feb. 23. Skylynn was taken from Hockett due to neglect and drug use and placed in the custody of her grandparents as the assigned "safety net."

Hockett was allowed custody again in April.

"This suspect's past history with CPS, combined with what happened in the early morning hours today, clearly shows that she is an unfit mother," said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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