Instead of calling police after a woman disappeared and left her young son behind, neighbors at an apartment complex took turns caring for the boy for weeks, authorities say.
The boy, known only as "Teddy," told neighbors he is 3 but might be as old as 5, authorities said.
He had charmed his benefactors. "I knew I should report it. I just didn't want to turn him in for just anyone to have," said Belinda Smith, 57, with whom Teddy lived for a month. "He's such a special child."
Authorities had located the boy's mother Wednesday after receiving a tip, Christy Gilfour, a police spokeswoman, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Investigators were interviewing the woman and did not release details.
Sometime in July, the woman left her son with a friend while she went to a store and never came back, so the neighbors took over feeding and caring for him -- until someone finally called police Sept. 14.