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Tourist accused of leaving daughter alone appeals for child back

Courtney Williford is charged with felony child neglect

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A Philadelphia mother who is accused of leaving her 3-year-old daughter alone for hours at a Miami Beach hotel is expressing remorse, hoping to reunited with her child after she was taken into state custody.

"Don't leave your child alone, period, at all," Courtney Williford said.

The 23-year-old single mother spoke to Local 10 News by phone from her home in Philadelphia.

"I wasn't paying attention to the time," Williford said.

Williford said she left her child taking a nap by herself inside her room at the Aqua Hotel on Collins Avenue while she went to run some errands this week.

Miami Beach police officers said her daughter was found hours later walking by herself in the hotel lobby.

Police arrested Williford and charged her with felony child neglect. The state Department of Children and Families took custody of the girl.

"I understand I made a bad decision. I know I was wrong, straight up," Williford said.

Williford said she had to return to Philadelphia to work as she's works with an attorney to get her toddler back.

About the Author:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.