Child, 2, found wandering in Ross Park Mall parking lot; Mom charged

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ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. —

A 37-year-old New Brighton woman is facing endangering the welfare of children charges after police said her 2-year-old son was found wandering in the Ross Park Mall parking lot Tuesday night.

Ross Township police Sgt. Benjamin Dripps said Ross Park Mall security officers discovered Kimberly Holinda’s son around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday in the mall parking lot. The security guard took the child into his heated patrol car and alerted authorities.

"We are thankful that a mall security officer was able to assist in resolving this unfortunate situation for the safety of the child,” said Lisa Earl, Ross Park Mall manager.

According to Dripps, the security officers said the child was wearing only blue jeans and a light weather jacket. At the time he was discovered, the temperature was 2 degrees with a wind chill of minus 7.

“I don’t think he would have survived long in the cold the way he was dressed,” Dripps said.

Upon investigating, Ross Township police were notified that the child had been seen earlier inside the mall wandering around before being reunited with Holinda.

“Only after several minutes had passed, his mother pulled up dazed, confused and erratic,” Dripps said.

Allegheny County Children and Family Services was notified and took custody of the child, officials said.

Holinda was arrested and taken to the Allegheny County Jail.