KINGMAN, Ariz. - Authorities in Mohave County say a 28-year-old man is facing child abuse charges after allegedly leaving his 10-year-old daughter alone in the desert.
According to MCSO, a woman spotted the girl crying and walking by herself on the asphalt without shoes in the area of Packard and Norrie Drive on July 22 at 9:00 a.m. When the woman asked the girl why she was crying, she stated her dad left her. She took the girl home and called law enforcement.
"Deputies noted the approximate temperate outside was 91 degrees when the reporting party found the little girl," stated MCSO's Trish Carter.
"The victim reported that her dad drove her out to the desert and forced her out of the truck. The victim further reported that she hit her head when she reached for the door handle and her dad sped away. The victim said that she started walking back toward the street when she started talking to the lady. Deputies observed the victim had a bite mark on her hand. The victim further said that her dad did that to her. The victim complained of a headache and her neck hurting," added Carter.
The girl was transported to an area hospital, treated and later released.
Per MCSO, investigators determined the girl lives at a nearby residence with her younger brother and her father, identified as Christopher Charles Watson. The family moved to the area about three weeks ago.
At about 11:00 a.m., detectives and deputies contacted Watson at his home. They say he was woken up from a nap and deputies smelled an odor of alcohol on him.
"Watson said that he and his daughter were having an ongoing argument when he decided to take her for a car ride, which has calmed her down in the past," stated Carter. "Apparently, Watson dragged his daughter from the front passenger seat, across his lap and out of the truck."
The sheriff's office said Watson admitted to dropping his daughter off in the desert just north of McVicar Avenue and Norrie Drive without any water or shoes. Watson also said that he returned home and waited about 15 minutes before going to look for her, but went home after he couldn't find her.
Watson was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Mohave County Jail.
The girl and her 9-year-old brother are in state custody now.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.