Family Member's Tip Led South Carolina Authorities to Cobb Woman

She is accused of leaving her daughter on a doorstep in that state.

A Cobb County woman who allegedly abandoned her daughter on the front porch of a home in South Carolina last week will likely be extradited to that state "tomorrow or Wednesday," the spokesman for the Anderson County Sheriff's Office said Monday.

Tongela Denise McBride, who lives at the Parkside at Town Center, an apartment community in an unincorporated section of Cobb between Marietta and Kennesaw, was arrested just after 10:30 p.m. Friday night, according to online jail records. She is in the Cobb County Adult Detention Center without bond.

Her arrest came three days after someone rang the doorbell at a home on Brook Forest Drive in the Nevitt Forest subdivision around 11 p.m. Tuesday.

When the homeowner opened the door, he found a girl in a stroller, and no sign of who had left her, said Chad McBride, the spokesman for the Anderson County Sheriff's Office.

The girl's hair was braided and both ears were pierced with diamond stud earrings. She was dressed in a white shirt with yellow sleeves that bore “Auntie Loves Me” on the front; gray pants with a floral design; a pink jacket; a pink stocking cap; and brown boots. Both the cap and boots had Dora the Explorer on them.

After law enforcement arrived on the scene, they "found ... two diapers in the stroller and one of them said, 'Call DFAC, please,' " Anderson County Sheriff's Office Capt. Garland Major said. "We're assuming that's Division of Family and Child Services in Georgia."

McBride issued the first press release on Wednesday. At first, the Anderson County Sheriff's Office received no tips, McBride told Patch.

"When that story went national between Thursday night and Friday, it gained a lot of attention and we started to get tips," he said.

One of the tips came from a distant relative of the girl, McBride said.

"They actually saw a newscast one night," he said, "and that's why they ended up calling us here in South Carolina."

The family member identified little Jane Doe as 4-year-old Zoe Brown of Marietta. 

"This distant relative had never laid eyes on Zoe in person," McBride said, "just maybe in some pictures."

Zoe is currently with a foster family.

Though an examination revealed the girl is in good health, "there are indications that the child appears to have had heart surgery," McBride said.

Zoe's parents, Alonzo Brown and Tongela McBride, each face a charge of unlawful neglect of a child, a felony that carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence. Brown was arrested in Anderson County. A judge Saturday afternoon denied his request for bond, McBride said.

Asked which parent left the child on the doorstep, McBride said: "We know the father did for sure. Not saying the mother wasn't there in person with him doing that. We did find out information that allowed us to know that she was apart of it, and of course, we're holding both parents responsible."

He said between Tuesday and Friday, Tongela McBride never filed a missing child report.


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