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Gaming Guru

Mary Manning
 

Parents arrested after 10-month-old abandoned at casino

29 October 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Metro Police arrested the parents of a 10-month-old boy Friday after the baby was left in a stroller in front of the Imperial Palace hotel and casino for more than an hour.

Officers arrived at the hotel at about 5:35 p.m. Friday after two concerned tourists reported to security guards that the baby was alone in his stroller, police said.

Through video surveillance cameras, officers identified the parents who had abandoned the child, police said.

The parents were inside the casino gambling. When questioned, they told police they had left the baby after an argument. Both parents left the baby in his stroller on the sidewalk in front of the casino, police said.

A family friend, Yvette Sical, said this afternoon the parents left the stroller thinking the other had the baby. When the father called the mother, who returned to their hotel room and who is six months pregnant with their second child, she reminded him to change the baby's diaper and he realized the child had been left behind.

The father, 37-year-old David Luna-Cardenas, and mother, 35-year-old Maria Larios-Cortes, have been arrested on one count of felony child endangerment and one count of felony child neglect, police said.

The parents were booked into the Clark County Detention Center. They will have an appearance in court on Nov. 24.

The family was visiting Las Vegas, police said. Clark County Child Protective Services took the baby into custody.

The baby was returned to the parents Sunday morning, Sical said.

"They didn't abandon the baby. It was a mistake," Sical said.

They were in Las Vegas for two weeks and planned to return to Mexico on Thursday. They will be in Las Vegas for their court appearance, she said.

The video tapes from the hotel have been booked as evidence and are not being released by police.