Investigation underway after toddler found alone near shoreline off Kauai bike path

Investigation underway after toddler found alone near shoreline off Kauai bike path

KEALIA, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - On Kauai, an investigation is underway after a 2-year-old girl was found alone near the ocean just off the Kapaa bike path.

Maile Freitas says she was walking the bike path with her boyfriend on Sunday morning around 10am when she heard the toddler crying.

After looking around, Freitas says they finally spotted the little girl near the rocky shoreline.

She says the drop off the bike path was so steep, her boyfriend had to sit and slide down.

"It was really steep to get to where she was. When she saw us, she looked at us and let out a cry for help," said Freitas.

The couple dashed towards the crying toddler.

Leiola Kamalani-Oliver was riding her bicycle nearby. She says she saw the look of panic in their faces and stopped to help.

"Why would a baby be down there? It's like a cliff. There was debris from the flood. There was nobody in sight. There's no way the child can be there without somebody taking it there. There is absolutely no way," said Kamalani-Oliver.

Freitas says the 2-year-old had no clothes, no shoes, just a soggy diaper.

"She was exhausted. I calmed her down and she just fell asleep right on my shoulders," said Freitas.

Sources say the little girl was left there for hours, and that Child Welfare Services has had previous issues with her parents, including a neglect case involving another child.

"I thank the good lord that Maile was there and heard the baby's cries. I have eight kids of my own and 23 grand kids and so this is hard. We have to speak up for the baby," said Kamalani-Oliver.

County officials say the toddler had no injuries, but was taken to Wilcox Hospital where she was released into the custody of Child Welfare Services.

Sources say she is now with relatives.

Police have opened an endangering the welfare of a minor investigation, but no arrests have been made yet.

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