Los Angeles police this week were investigating how a 3-year-old girl named Audrey was abandoned at a valet stand at The Grove shopping center over the weekend.

The girl was picked up by her father Sunday after her grandfather spotted her photo in a news report about how she was abandoned and phoned family members, according to authorities and reports.

Cops still want to talk to her mother, but at this point the caper might be chalked up to misunderstanding.


Audrey was found with a car seat at a Grove valet stand about 6 p.m. on Saturday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement:

 … The parking attendants of the The Grove shopping center, stated that a woman dropped off the young girl at the valet parking area with a car seat but nobody arrived to pick her up. The attendants notified police and officers took the child into protective custody.

Yesterday afternoon cops said that Audrey had “been reunited with her parent” and that “the Department of Children and Family Services is investigating.”

CBS Los Angeles reported that it was an aunt who had dropped Audrey off Saturday with the understanding that her father would pick her up in order to take a holiday photo in front of the Grove's famous Christmas tree.

The father believed that perhaps Audrey was never dropped off and thus didn't report her missing, according to our reading of what police told reporters.

Credit: Audrey via the LAPD

Credit: Audrey via the LAPD

It isn't clear why the aunt would just leave her there without someone to retrieve Audrey immediately. Police say authorities still want to chat with Audrey's mom.

The case lit up social media over the weekend and riveted some in L.A. who were concerned about the girl's plight.

The parents are reportedly split up.

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