SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - One toddler may be spending Christmas away from his family this year. He was in government custody Sunday after being abandoned in the New Mexico desert Saturday night.
A Border Patrol agent found the 2-year-old boy near the intersection of Posey and Anapra roads.
He arrived without warning, crossing as fast as the man claiming to be his uncle fled to Mexico.
"The border patrol agent, instead of chasing after him, stayed with the child," said Sunland Park Police Chief Jaime Reyes.
A toy still at the scene Sunday -- perhaps a forgotten bread crumb, left behind to help the boy find his way back home.
"Reaching out to Mexican consul and Mexican authorities to make sure the child doesn't belong in Mexico," Reyes said.
Sunland Park police know him as Adrian -- that's how the boy who speaks only Spanish introduced himself.
"This is a first for our department since I've been here," Reyes said.
It started Saturday night in the Sunland Park desert, where Bordel Patrol said an agent responded to an underground sensor that's used to detect footsteps. He followed footprints behind some brush.
"They leave the kid, and hopefully they have a better life here," Reyes said.
But what kind of life is an estranged one this holiday season?
"Even though he's probably safer right now than where he was, we still need to find his family and try to figure out what happened," Reyes said.
Police said Adrian is in good health. As of Sunday night, he was with the Children, Youth and Families Department of New Mexico.
Those who recognize Adrian are asked to call Sunland Park police at 575-526-0795.