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Man sought in connection with baby found abandoned in restroom of Lakewood Walmart

Man sought in connection with baby found abandoned in restroom of Lakewood Walmart
Detectives are searching for a man seen at a Lakewood Walmart who may have information about a baby who was found abandoned in the store's bathroom. (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

A baby was abandoned in a Walmart bathroom last week and officials are now looking for a person who may be connected with the incident, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Monday.

A customer at the Lakewood Walmart at 2770 E. Carson St. saw the child in the stall of a men’s restroom next to a toilet and notified an employee on Oct. 8. The boy was described as African American, 12 to 15 months old and weighing about 20 pounds, authorities said.

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After reviewing store surveillance video, detectives from the Special Victims Bureau identified a person of interest. The man, who was wearing a white T-shirt, burgundy pants and carrying a backpack, was seen driving to and from the store in a beige or gold Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo.

Investigators think the man may have hidden the baby in his backpack in order to bring him into the store, said Lt. Todd Deeds.

The man’s behavior in the parking lot was unusual, Deeds said. His car didn’t have a license plate, and the man parked as far away from the store’s entrance as he possibly could.

“All he did was walk inside, walk straight to the bathroom and walk out,” he said. “This is a very unusual case.”

No child matching the description of the baby has been reported missing, and no relatives have come forward in the week since he was found, the Sheriff’s Department said.

The man is not being called a suspect because investigators don’t have enough evidence that he carried the baby into the store, Deeds said. But officials are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man so he can be questioned. A news conference is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Anyone with information about the case can call the Special Victims Bureau at (877) 719-5273.

11:50 a.m.: This article was updated with comments from sheriff’s detectives.

This article was originally published at 10:30 a.m.

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