Police say woman abandoned 9-year-old special needs daughter at Galt House

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville woman is facing serious charges after police say she abandoned her 9-year-old special needs child at the Galt House hotel in downtown Louisville over the weekend.

According to the arrest report, a housekeeper found the girl with extreme special needs "shaking, crying and visibly scared" alone in a conference room around 3:15 a.m. Sunday.

Police say the child's mother, 30-year-old Paloma Smith, came back to the conference room about 20 minutes after the child was found and tried to leave with the child, even though police told her the child needed to be taken to a hospital. That's when police say she became aggressive and dismissive of officer's questions. 

Police say Smith was not a guest at the hotel and no reason to be there. 

Smith was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a minor, endangering the welfare of an incompetent person and criminal trespassing. She was being held at Louisville Metro Corrections on a $10,000 cash bond. 

A judge ordered Smith to have no contact with her daughter. 

The executive director of Down Syndrome of Louisville says she has known the family since the child's birth and says Smith has left her daughter alone before. 

"That's why this new news that this child was left in an unsafe environment is very upsetting," Diana Merzweiler said. 

Merzweiler says the little girl was in foster care but recently started living with her mother again. 

"A second time to put that child in danger, it's just unspeakable and it should not be allowed," she said. 

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