Columbus police are investigating the apparent abandonment of a 5-year-old boy at the Crown gas station on South Lumpkin Road.
The boy was left afraid and crying about 12:15 p.m., after a women took him to the convenience store to use the restroom. The store manager said a woman took the boy to the women's restroom and shut the door.
While the boy was inside, manager Cornelia Hannah said the woman placed a fountain drink, juice and two Mountain Dew sodas on the counter and walked away.
"She got in the car and left," she said a customer outside told her.
Hannah said the boy started crying and they tried to calm him down. Police were called about 20 minutes later.
The boy told the staff that he lived in a green house but he didn't know directions on how to get there.
"Then he said, 'Well, mama not coming back,'" Hannah said. "I said, 'What do you mean?' 'No mama not coming back.'"
The boy, who was in preschool, was wearing a blue shirt, black shorts and sandals. The manager said the woman may have been to the store in the past.
Police were in the store about two hours trying to piece together what happened to the boy.
"We werent going to let nobody harm him," Hannah said.
The case has been turned over to the Youth Services Division at the police department, police said.
Check back for more details on the status of the boy and the person who left him.
Correction: an earlier version of this story listed the boy's age as 4.