A man whose usually reliable truck broke down in a parking lot found two abandoned toddlers wandering Tuesday morning on the streets of South LA as investigators continue the search for the children's parents.
Luis Rodriguez spotted a 3-year-old boy on his tricycle pedaling toward traffic near Manchester Avenue and Stanford Avenue around 9 a.m. and rescued the boy. Rodriguez had pulled over to the parking lot of a nearby liquor store because of car trouble.
"Destiny or whatever, I never have problems with my truck, I was ready to go to work,” Rodriguez said. "I ask them, 'Where you live, know? Where is mom?' And, he just pointed out to that gate over there. I said, 'You live over there?'"
Pictured here, Rodriguez then found a 2-year-old, believed to be the 3-year-old’s brother, on a sidewalk nearby.
"These kids, they were suffering," Rodriguez said.
With no sign of the boys’ parents, another witness called 911.
"(The 3-year-old) ran down to the apartments where he stayed, he seemed a little frightened until he figured out that we were really trying to help him," witness Markeisha Hall said.
The boy went to a nearby store to get bread, took it home and made a sandwich, LAPD Capt. Lillian Carranza told NBC4.
Police are searching for the toddlers' mother, identified as 32-year-old Sidnicka F. Wilson, pictured at right.
Hall described the boys as "filthy." She peeled off the boys' clothes, got some paper towels and cleaned the boys up. A nearby store donated new diapers.
"Thank God the guy was at the corner fixing his car because he said they were on their way into the middle of Manchester," Hall said.
NBC4 went to the home where the boys led rescuers and found toys outside the home, but no one was inside. The LAPD confirms the boys are now with the Department of Children and Family Services.
Neighbors tell NBC4 that they believe social workers have checked in on the children before.
With every family, we look to see if there's a history, and we pay close attention to that history," Armand Monteil with DFCS said.
Police said they were not sure whether any charges would be filed once the mother is located, but were looking into any possible concerns.
"The concerns about child abandonment and neglect...that is a concern, but we do not know if we're there yet," Carranza told NBC4.
Anyone with information is asked to contact LAPD.