Prosecutors won't pursue neglect charges against a Palm Bay woman whose 4-year-old son they say wandered away from a teenage sibling's care while their mother was away job hunting.
Nassia Eugie, 34, had faced up to five years in prison if convicted on one third-degree felony count of child neglect in connection with the Sept. 22 incident.
Police arrested Eugie, of 1043 Albion St., after they say a driver spotted 4-year-old Jayden around 8:45 a.m. wandering barefoot and alone near Jupiter Boulevard and Emerson Drive. Eugie called to report the child missing six hours later, authorities said.
Julia Lynch, chief of the state attorney's office sex crimes and child abuse division, said Eugie was engaging in a "worthwhile" activity and did not seem to be "willfully" trying to neglect her child.
Eugie told police she had been in Orlando all day on a job interview and had left the boy in the care of his 14-year-old brother. Apparently, the brother fell asleep, and the 4-year-old slipped out of their home.
"The charges did not seem justified in this case based on the fact that she was out seeking a job, and to leave the child with a 14-year-old is not unreasonable," Lynch said. "A 14-year-old is old enough to baby-sit."
The children and two other siblings remain in the care of a relative and under Department of Children and Families supervision, officials said. DCF has had past dealings with Eugie, spokeswoman Carrie Hoeppner said.
"As the investigation has continued, other things have been taken into consideration," said Hoeppner. "Ultimately it just comes down to what's best for the kids."
Eugie will be arraigned at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 25 in Viera on allegations that the September arrest violated her probation on a 2007 grand theft conviction, court records show.
She is being held at the Brevard County Detention Center on $10,000 bond, officials said.