Detroit mom arrested for abandoning shivering toddler on beach as waves washed over him: police

A Detroit woman has been arrested after she allegedly abandoned her baby on a beach at nighttime in Florida, with the child being found shivering near the water as waves washed over him.

Shamika Mitchell, 37, was arrested by police last week and charged with child neglect after she allegedly left her 1-year-old boy alone on Daytona Beach in the early hours of Nov. 8, according to Fox 2 Detroit. Police said the temperature that night was about 57 degrees.

Mitchell, who was vacationing in the area along with her three other children, was captured on video surveillance leaving the beach just before midnight on Nov. 7 and returning to her car in the parking lot of Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, where she had been staying with her kids. 

Security allowed the family to stay in the car park after Mitchell requested a safe place to stay, according to an affidavit viewed by Fox News Digital.


Shamika Mitchell has been arrested for allegedly abandoning her child on a Florida beach last week. (Fox 35 Orlando)

One of her older children, a teenager, confronted his mother and asked her where the toddler was, with Mitchell telling him she had given the baby to his father after meeting up with him at a nearby convenience store, the affidavit states.

The son didn’t believe her since he knew the child’s father lived in Detroit, and so he asked the church’s security to call 911 before he went searching for the missing toddler.

The missing baby was ultimately found on the beach after a woman said she noticed something in the sand and initially thought it was an animal. As she got closer, she saw it was a child, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, citing court papers.


According to those court documents, the woman said the child was on his hands and knees near the water and the waves washed over him, completely submerging him at times. Bystanders got the child out of the water, called 911, and then took off the child’s soaked diapers and tried to warm him.

Daytona Beach entrance

A child was found abandoned in Daytona Beach, Florida, last week and his mother has been arrested. (Google Earth)

Sheriff’s deputies patrolling the beach responded to the scene, and a deputy then put the trembling child into a patrol car before turning on the heater to warm the baby, accord to a police report viewed by Fox News Digital. 

The child was unresponsive and his skin was cold to the touch, the report states. Eventually, paramedics arrived on the scene and treated the child.

Mitchell’s boyfriend, DeShawn Gales, told Fox 2 Detroit that the baby has since been released from hospital and is in good care.

Gales said that he did not know why Mitchell had allegedly abandoned the baby. The Department of Children and Families took custody of the three other children for the night. They were later handed over to their grandparents, who traveled from Michigan to Florida to get them, Fox 2 Detroit reported.

Volusia County Sheriff car

Volusia County sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene and a deputy put the shivering child into a patrol car. (Peter Titmuss/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)


Mitchell was arrested and remains in the Volusia County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

Additionally, the older son who confronted Mitchell was arrested after police arrived at the car park that night, according to an arrest affidavit viewed by Fox News Digital.

The teen became upset that his mother had abandoned the child and tried to hit her while she was speaking to the police.

He was arrested after he allegedly hit two officers who tried to stop him from lunging for his mother. It is unclear if he has been charged.

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