Tracy Lynn Betts, a 40-year-old teacher's aide from Temecula, Calif., was arrested last week after police say her 12-year-old daughter was found naked, abandoned and eating out of a trash can near Vail Elementary School, KCAL-TV reports.
Authorities were called Wednesday after residents claimed to see a naked girl rummaging through the garbage bins in the area. KCAL-TV reports that upon arrival, police found the girl sitting naked and hungry in a car.
The girl told the authorities where her mother was working, and Betts was arrested immediately on suspicion of child endangerment, Temecula Patch reports.
The girl was rushed to the hospital for treatment, and placed in the care of the Riverside County Child Protective Services.
Police told Dominique Prado, who found and fed the girl along with her husband, that it looks like the girl was kept naked so she wouldn't run away when her mother was at work, the Press Enterprise reports.
According to the paper, Betts was released Friday on $15,000 bail.