“I looked left, looked right — I didn’t see my son,” the mother said
A New York mother of three experienced every parent’s worst nightmare when her 3-year-old son with autism vanished from inside their home.
On Friday, Aug. 30, Jeanine Malave was in her kitchen when she noticed her toddler Jariel was not in her bedroom. The mother of three lives on the seventh floor of the Sotomayor Houses in the Bronx.
“I looked left, looked right — I didn’t see my son,” Jeanine Malave told WPIX11.
Not knowing where he could have gone, Malvave checked the nanny cam she had installed. That’s when she made a horrifying discovery.
The video, obtained by WPIX11, shows little Jariel tugging at a wall AC unit for several minutes before eventually pulling it out completely. He then crawls out onto the scaffolding.
Fearing the worst, Malvave thought her son may have fallen to his death — but that was not the case, she told the news outlet.
Somehow, Jariel managed to cross the building and ended up on the other side of the building outside of her neighbor Maria Espertome’s kitchen.
She was washing dishes when the toddler showed up at her window.
Espertome explained to WPIX11, which has been translated to English from Spanish, that she screamed in horror and immediately began trying to get the child to safety.
“Give me your hand, little one. Give me your hand,” Espertome said she told Jariel, WPIX11 reported.
However, Jariel didn’t respond as he was too busy playing. Espertome then screamed out for Malave, who rushed to the apartment.
She was able to pull her son inside through the kitchen window. The child was unharmed.
“I almost fainted,” Malave told WPIX11.
As for how Jariel was able to pull out the AC unit easily, Malave said she was forced to install the equipment herself after New York City Housing Authority allegedly didn’t respond to her request to have it installed professionally.
“How many times I have to tell them, ‘I need a box, I need an AC,’” she told WPIX11.
She claims NYCHA is blaming her for what happened to her son. A rep for the government agency tells PEOPLE, “We are looking into this matter.”