A mother accused of leaving her 4-year-old daughter alone all day on Tuesday told police she left her child so she could be paid for sex because she is facing eviction, according to court documents.
Shi'day Nicks, 22, told police she left her 4-year-old daughter, Shafyalya Nick, alone for several hours on Tuesday while she met a man who promised to pay her $230 for sexual favors, according to court documents.
In a statement to police, Nicks said she didn't intend to leave her child alone for such a long time.
"I am facing eviction and felt I needed to do what I had to do in order to keep a roof over our heads," she said. "I did not want (redacted) to see what I felt I had to do to make money. I have no friends and no family for support since I’ve been here in Hartford. I take full responsibility for the decisions I made that lead me to be in this situation. I felt I had little choice."
Police started investigating and looking for Nicks after someone called authorities at 10:08 a.m. on Tuesday to report that a little girl was wandering alone on Collins Street.
For nine hours, police searched for the woman until one of Nick's friends contacted authorities with a phone number for Nicks.
Police made contact with the mother around 8 p.m. and she told authorities she had gone to the store at 8 a.m. on Tuesday to buy bread and meat and her child was sleeping when she returned home 10 minutes later, so she made food for the girl and left to meet the man.
Nicks said she was supposed to be home by 2 p.m., but the man asked for more time in exchange for money, so she stayed and he brought her home around 7 p.m.
When Nicks returned home, people in the area said they saw her daughter walking down the street, then get into a police car.
"She was able to make contact with the police department. We picked her up on Wethersfield Avenue yesterday evening. She was taken to the police department and was interviewed by our special investigative detectives,” Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said. “Certainly the habits were outside the bounds of good parenting, again, lifestyle played a factor.”
At 12:15 a.m. on Wednesday, police arrested Nicks and charged her with risk of injury to a minor, reckless endangerment and leaving a child under the age of 12 unsupervised.
Shi'day Nicks’ father, Anthony Nicks, said his granddaughter is going fine.
“Right now, as a grandfather and a father, it’s very disturbing because I don’t know what happened with my granddaughter,” Anthony Nicks said.
Shi'day Nicks was originally held on a $150,000 bond, but bond was reduced to $50,000 and she is due back in court on Oct. 21.