Missing toddler was found safe but her mother was arrested, SC cops say. Here’s the charge

A toddler that was reported missing Sunday in Columbia was found safe, but there is more trouble for her family.

Zatara Dunham, the mother of 3-year-old Brooklyn Scott, was arrested, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said Monday in a news release.

The 26-year-old Dunham was charged with unlawful conduct toward a child, according to the release.

At about 9:30 a.m. Sunday, the sheriff’s department said Brooklyn was last seen hours earlier at about 3 a.m.

On Sunday, deputies responded to the 4600 block of Fort Jackson Boulevard in Columbia after receiving the report about the missing girl, the sheriff’s department said.

During the investigation, it was found that a family member took Brooklyn when they found the apartment door unlocked and no adult was present, according to the release.

Information about Dunham’s location when Brooklyn was taken by the family member was not available.

Even when deputies reported Brooklyn had been found and was safe, the sheriff’s department said an investigation into her disappearance was still ongoing.

Dunham was taken into custody and Brooklyn was placed with her father, the sheriff’s department said.

As of Monday afternoon, Dunham was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, and no bond had been set, jail records show.

Following a bond hearing, Dunham is scheduled to return to court again on Jan. 26, 2024, according to Richland County judicial records.

If convicted on the felony unlawful conduct toward a child charge, Dunham faces a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison, according to South Carolina law.