A mother lost custody of her children and is facing child neglect charges after leaving them in the Social Security office to stop her vehicle from being repossessed, then driving away recklessly and returning on foot almost an hour later, according to the Bradenton police.
At 1:30 p.m. Friday, officers were called to the Social Security office for a reported child abandonment.
Nikia Mills, 29, of Bradenton, was at the Social Security office with her two children, ages 4 and 5, while her vehicle was being towed outside. The mother ran outside, leaving the children unattended.
When Mills was told her vehicle was being repossessed, she got into it, drove over a parking curve onto a sidewalk and continued to drive into the grass area next to the building, missing it by inches. The mother drove away and returned on foot about 50 minutes later.
The children were taken into the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families. Police say Mills has an extensive history with DCF.
Mills was arrested and charged with two counts of child neglect without great bodily harm. She was held without bond at the Manatee County jail.
She also received a federal citation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for creating a disturbance in a federal building.
Anyone with information about this case should call BPD officer Lixa Moyett at 941-932-9300, or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000, call Crime Stoppers at 866-634-8477 (TIPS) or send an anonymous e-tip to manateecrimestoppers.com.