Mississippi authorities arrested a mother and her friend after the two ate at a Waffle House while the mother’s two teen daughters were locked in the back of a U-Haul truck.
Kishawna Jackson, 34, of Laurel, and Zachary Combest, 31, of Gulfport, face charges of felony child endangerment, according to Jones County Sheriff’s Office online booking records.
The Laurel Police Department claims Jackson was eating at the restaurant on Wednesday while her 12-year-old and 16-year-old were in the back of the vehicle. The oldest daughter has special needs and is autistic, WSBTV News reported.
“I don’t know what would possess an adult to place two children in the back of a locked van while they go enjoy a meal,” Laurel Police Department Chief Tommy Cox told the newspaper. “It’s unfathomable.”
Residents in the area told police about the two girls. When authorities arrived, they found Combest sitting inside the front of the van. When they approached the back of the truck, they found the two girls inside.
There was no ventilation in the U-Haul, the Leader Call reported.
Police also found blankets and a mattress inside the van. Combest told police the girls had been in the back of the van, but “not for a long period of time,” according to an arrest affidavit.
The mother was inside a nearby Rodeway Inn—next to the Waffle House and had the keys to the van.
The children were taken into custody by Child Protective Services. The adults were arrested.