Dads Against the Divorce Industry

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Toddler left home alone 2 1/2 wks released from hospital

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (AP) --A 2-year-old girl left home alone for 21/2 weeks while her mother was in jail has been released from the hospital after being treated for malnutrition and dehydration, officials said Wednesday

The child, who survived by eating ketchup, mustard and dried pasta, was released late Tuesday from Wolfson Children's Hospital to the custody of the state Department of Children & Families.

"The only thing I can tell you is that she is in good condition," hospital spokesman David Foreman said.

The little girl had been left alone since her mother, Dakeysha Telita Lee, was jailed September 10 for aggravated assault and petty theft, police said. The mother was charged Monday with child abuse, and was being held Tuesday on $20,000 bond.

The child's father, Ogden Lee, who is separated from the 22-year-old mother, said he had been trying to contact her for two weeks and did not learn until Sunday night that she was in jail.

When a manager let him into the apartment, the youngster was lying nude in a baby's bathtub, covered with a towel and was watching a TV cartoon channel. She was filthy and covered with dry ketchup and jelly, Sheriff John Rutherford said Tuesday.

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press.

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