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In a matter of 24 hours, Beatriz Rios went from beloved nanny to babysitter behind bars.
The child and her family now have a restraining order against Rios, who was charged this week after disappearing for hours with the toddler she was watching.
Detectives said Rios couldn't explain where she took 17-month-old Annabelle Ceria all day Wednesday. The child and her sitter were unaccounted for from 10 a.m. -- when they missed a playdate -- to 5:30 p.m., when they finally returned home.
The nanny's lawyer said Thursday that there was an explanation.
"She was mugged, and then she got lost and was trying to find her way home, and then she did," said attorney Angharad Vaughan. "She's told that story again and again, and they just don't want to believe her."
Vaughan said Rios barely speaks English, and she got lost in Central Park, unable to find the east-side exit after muggers ushered her to the west side of the park.
But prosecutors said the babysitter wavered on her story when a detective showed her surveillance video.
According to the criminal complaint, "When he showed the defendant the videotape of her walking ... with the child, the defendant said that she was beginning to doubt that she was robbed."
Vaughan said: "She was mugged, she was lost, she confused, she was afraid. She was trying to find her way back, and then she did it."
According to the complaint, Rios was hired four years ago by the family as a caretaker for the children, and had been looking after the toddler since she was born in June 2010. The Ceria family publicly thanked police and media Wednesday, but has not spoken since then.
After Rios was formally charged Thursday, her family left Manhattan Criminal Court without a word. They were unable to gather the $10,000 bond needed to free her that night, but she was out on bail Friday.
Her next scheduled court date is on Dec. 6.