Passerby finds 2-year-old in a tipped stroller in a field near Tehachapi

Child suspected to have been left 10.5 hours

TEHACHAPI - A mother is in custody after her toddler was found alone in a tipped-over stroller.

Sheriff's deputies out of Tehachapi were dispatched to an incident involving a 2-year-old child who was found alone.

A person passing by in the area found the 2-year-old child stuck in a stroller that was tipped over and left unattended, deputies said.

The child was found in a vacant field, near the north side of the roadway of Cherry Lane, near Sage Lane. It is believed the child was alone in the stroller from about 10:30 p.m. on Saturday until found at about 9 a.m. the next day, deputies said.

The child was physically unharmed and was taken into protective custody then transported the Jamison Center.

Deputies located and arrested the child’s mother, 34-year-old Stacey Nikkel, who is a resident in the Tehachapi area.

Just before the incident, a couple had been trying to adopt the girl and had her in their custody. Nikkel and the couple had been locked in a custody battle. The judge at the hearing said that CPS dropped the ball, and awarded custody back to Nikkel on June 9, a family member told 23ABC.

Nikkel was subsequently arrested on charges of Child Endangerment, Child Abandonment, and Being Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance. She was booked on the charges at the Central Receiving Jail in Bakersfield. Her bail was set at $20,000.

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