This is the shocking moment a two-year-old is abandoned in a shopping centre in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro by his rowing parents.The boy was left alone in just a pair of shorts and a vest top and clutching a football to his chest after his father put him down - his mother walked off in the opposite direction.
A well-wisher stopped the confused boy as he headed for the exit to search for his mother and alerted security staff who handed him over to police.
Footage showed him playing with the ball he was holding before walking through the sliding doors his mother had just walked away from with the onlooker who saved him following him in hot pursuit and leading him back inside.
Last night he was being cared for at a local children's home as police hunted his mother.
The toddler's father, who works as a waiter at a restaurant inside the shopping centre, accused the mother of abandoning the boy after being taken into custody and making a statement.
Officials said he had not been able to provide any proof he was the child's father and they were still working on proving the link between them.
The shocking scenes happened at a shopping centre called Rio Sul in Rio de Janeiro's upper middle-class beachfront neighbourhood of Botafogo.
Police spokesman Barbara Lomba said: 'The man who claims to be the father is saying he argued with the mum before going off to work.
'He says he thought the child had stayed with the mum and as he didn't look back he wasn't aware the mum had gone off in the opposite direction and the youngster had been left alone.'
The case is being investigated as one of child abandonment.
The drama happened on Monday.