A 3-year-old was reunited with her father Sunday after she was found alone at the Grove shopping center in Los Angeles' Fairfax neighborhood the previous evening, authorities said.
Parking attendants said a female relative dropped off the girl, Audrey, at the valet parking area at 189 The Grove Drive (map) around 6 p.m. Saturday, according to a Los Angeles Police Department news release.
She was left "with a car seat, but nobody arrived to pick her up," it stated.
After the parking attendants informed police, officers responded to the location and took the girl into protective custody, the LAPD said. Officials from the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services were assisting with her care.
The child appeared to be in good condition, but she was unable to provide officials with her last name or further information about her parents or guardians, according to officials.
A family member said Audrey's mother, who lives out of state, was not aware that her daughter had been left by herself until she saw media reports about the incident.
"We seen my sister's daughter on TV, on the news, and this is all news to us," said the girl's aunt, who did not want to be identified by name. "'There's a report Audrey has been abandoned at the Grove.' We heard ... that and got all crazy."
Audrey's grandfather also became aware of the situation via media reports, and notified the child's father, who then contacted police, said LAPD Lt. Jay Mastick.
The father told authorities that the female relative who dropped off Audrey at the Grove was supposed to leave her with him, so she could get her picture taken with Santa Claus. However, when he thought the woman hadn't arrived with his daughter, the man went home, according to the LAPD.
"There was some confusion between the father and other family members that had the child, in terms of coordinating a pickup and getting the child reunited with the family," Mastick said.
Audrey was reunited with a parent Sunday, LAPD stated in a news release around 2:40 p.m.
Relatives told KTLA that the girl's parents are separated and she is often in the care of other family members.
The Department of Children and Family Services was conducting an investigation.
No charges have been filed in the incident.
KTLA's John A. Moreno contributed to this report.