A Murrieta woman accused of abandoning her 12-year-old daughter in a car without any clothes or food while she went to work was charged today with child endangerment.
Tracy Lynn Betts, 41, could face a year in jail if convicted of the misdemeanor count.
Betts, who is free on $15,000 bail, after her daughter was located by Riverside County sheriff's deputies naked and alone in a car parked in the 29000 block of Avenida De Calzada in Temecula.
Area residents called the sheriff's department when they spotted the girl walking nude, rummaging through trash cans for food, according to the District Attorney's Office.
An investigation revealed that Betts left the child unattended in her vehicle, without clothes or provisions, while she went to work at nearby Vail Elementary School in Temecula, where she was then employed as a teacher's aide, authorities allege.
Investigators turned the case over to the D.A.'s office, seeking charges against Betts within a couple weeks of her arrest. However, prosecutors returned the case to the sheriff's department for further investigation, eventually culminating in the filing of the misdemeanor allegation.
No arraignment date has been set for the defendant.