NBC New York
An East Harlem couple experience a terrifying ordeal after a babysitter takes their little girl for a stroll and doesn't return for hours. Now the babysitter is charged. Chris Glorioso reports.
Police arrested a babysitter Wednesday night after she and the toddler she was caring for went missing for hours.
Beatriz Rios, 46, of Queens, disappeared with the 17-month-old baby she was looking after from an East Harlem home, police said.
It's still not clear why Rios took off with the girl.
Authorities issued an alert for the child late Wednesday afternoon, after her parents said the baby and Rios didn't show up for a scheduled playdate.
The baby was located later in the evening, but questions persisted. Rios claimed they only spent a part of the day in Central Park, where a stranger robbed her.
"She says she was at Central Park, a guy and a man got next to her, took her jacket, the stroller and her purse, and then walked away," said Barry Cintron, the Ceria family driver.
Detectives at the 23rd Precinct spent much of the night trying to make sense of the story.
They ultimately arrested Rios, charging her with unlawful imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child and failure to exercise control of a minor.
She was set to be arraigned Thursday and it was not immediately clear whether she had an attorney.
Melissa and Arthur Ceria offered a brief thank-you Wednesday night to all who helped in the search.
"We'd like to thank the media for helping us spread the good news, and the NYPD, who has been extraordinary," they said.