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Police arrest mother of boy found wandering in North Braddock; she says she was 'at store'

NORTH BRADDOCK, Pa. — The mother of a toddler found wandering on a North Braddock street has been arrested and charged.

Only Channel 11 was at Allegheny County police headquarters on Thursday when detectives took Athena Coffey, 39, in for questioning.

Just 20 minutes earlier, right after Braddock Hills police found her, Channel 11's Courtney Brennan asked her what happened.

“I went to the doctor's and then stopped at the store and found out that my son was not with his father,” Coffey said.

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Police have a different version of events and think the mom left her toddler home alone this morning in their North Braddock home.

The little boy was found wandering near Shaver Way and Grandview Street when a woman saw him and called police.

Police got the boy and then searched his home for clues, finding what they described as the worst conditions they’ve ever seen.

“Urine in bottles, no water, toilet hasn’t been flushed in probably months. Stamp bags, a lot of paraphernalia for drugs,” said Isaac Daniele, chief of the North Braddock Police Department.

Sources told Channel 11 it looked as if the little boy was barricaded in the house but somehow managed to get out and that’s how he wound up on the street.

Neighbors said they usually saw the boy with his father, whom police are still looking for.

There's no running water in the home, and it's now being boarded up by the borough.