A little girl sat in a swing around 5:15 p.m. last Sat., March 19, at Thrasher Park without a mother or father in sight, according to a police report. Two people in the park became alarmed as time passed and the child was still unattended.
They finally picked up the phone to call the Norcross Police. The officers arrived just before 6 p.m. when the little girl had been unsupervised for up to an hour, according to the report.
The parents were seen in the park again hours later--and claim they were there the entire time. Shannon Grose and Teresa Menefee were charged with First Degree Cruelty to a Child. That sentence was reduced yesterday to Second Degree Cruelty to a Child and the father, Grose, was released from jail, according to detention center records.
According to the responding officer, Ana Losco, the girl knew her first name—Asia—but she didn’t know her last name or her address. She said she came to the park in a large brown car with her dad, but that he was gone.
Losco waited in the park for the girl’s parents to approach—but no one did. Finally she carried the two-year-old to the Norcross Police station. “No one ever approached us, even as I walked away with Asia, to say that Asia was their child,” she wrote in the report. Another officer stayed behind to circle the park in his patrol car.
Losco and Asia sat at the station as Asia ate a dinner that the officer bought her. DFCS was called and made their way to Norcross.
Just before 8 p.m., another officer returned to Thrasher Park to find two men searching for a missing child. One was Asia’s father. Soon after, Asia’s mother arrived. “I immediately noticed the strong odor of alcohol coming from both Gross and Menefee,” Losco wrote in her report.
Both parents said they had been looking for Asia since about 7:35 p.m., about two hours after she was seen alone in the park.
Menefee was arrested for a prior warrant. Grose then became defensive and uncooperative, according to the police report. When they returned to the station, he called the officer a “liar.” The DFCS officer expressed his concern with release the child to her father because he seemed “intoxicated and aggressive,” according to the report.
Detention records show that Grose, whose address was listed as the 6000 block of Buford Highway in Norcross, was booked at 9:31 p.m. on March 19. He was released at 5:11 p.m. on Thurs., March 24.
Records show that Menefee, whose address was listed as the 3000 block of Medlock Bridge Road in Norcross, was booked at 11:54 p.m. on March 19 on four charges including cruelty to children in the 2nd degree and violation of probation. At the time of publication, records indicate that she has not been released.