Thanks to the quick thinking of a 4-year-old child, seven young lives have been spared after a 37-year-old Maryland woman left the children ages 2-4, alone in a vehicle. Now, the woman is being charged with confinement of children inside a motor vehicle amongst numerous other charges for her neglect.
County dispatch received the 911 call just after 1 p.m. from the child, who told the emergency dispatcher they were alone but he did not know where they were. Authorities were able to trace the call to a shopping mall parking lot in St. Charles, Maryland, where “Officers helped the children out of the vehicle and Charles County Fire/EMS provided treatment on the scene,” according to the sheriff’s department.
The seven children were found in the vehicle with its windows rolled up and only one car seat inside. Authorities said the kids had been left unattended for at least 20 minutes and it wasn’t until 10 minutes after police arrived that the woman returned to the vehicle. She is the mother of two of the children. Authorities said the kids were “scared” and “sweaty,” as temperatures in the area were around 80 degrees that day. Police believe the 4-year-old used a phone left in the car to call for help.
The sheriff’s office reminded citizens, “It is against the law to leave a child under the age of 8 unattended inside a motor vehicle if the caregiver is out of sight of the child unless a reliable person at least 13-years-old remains with the child.” They continued, “It is also dangerous to leave anyone, including pets, inside a motor vehicle especially as outside temperatures become warmer. The temperature inside a parked car can quickly rise to extremely high and even fatal levels in a short period of time.”
Authorities said they were not releasing the woman’s name to protect the children’s identities.