Girl Rescued From Hot Truck In Home Depot Parking Lot, Tells Police It Was ‘Punishment’ By Parents

A girl was rescued from a hot truck at a Home Depot parking lot in New Mexico by good Samaritans Tuesday.

Sheena Mayorga, her fiance, Hector Ramirez, and friend, John Bodenheimer, walked up to a truck at the parking lot when they noticed a 5-year-old girl trying to escape from the hot vehicle by attempting to crawl through the sliding rear window. She’d been inside the parked pickup in 90-degree heat for more than an hour. KOB 9 reports that the child was screaming and sweating when she tried getting out of the vehicle that wasn’t running or had any windows down.

Mayorga said of the 5-year-old:

“Screaming, sweating, unsure, and very scared.”

Bodenheimer shared:

“We were just trying to calm her down.”

The pickup was parked in a Home Depot parking lot at Eubank Boulevard and Central Avenue in southeast Albuquerque, according to the report.

All three of the people who rescued the girl say she was sweating from head to toe. Another customer and a few Home Depot employees helped by taking the girl inside the store to cool her off in the air-conditioning and give her water.

Albuquerque Police Lt. Eric Jordan said:

“A tragedy was prevented today. You shouldn’t leave kids, pets, anything in this type of heat without the car running. If you can’t bring your children shopping with you, either don’t go shopping or leave a responsible person with them at home.”

KTSM 9 reports that the young child was taken to an Albuquerque hospital for treatment for heat exposure. APD reveal that the girl was released from the facility Tuesday night and is now in the custody of the state’s Children, Youth, and Families Department.

The good Samaritans say that the parents walked out of the store 45 minutes after officers arrived at the scene. If the girl hadn’t cried, she very well could have been in the hot truck for another hour and not be rescued. Bodenheimer told KOB 9 about the girl’s parents:

“I hope they don’t get the child back, they don’t deserve the child if they’re going to be doing that. I mean, they were in the store for over an hour. That child could have easily died.”

The child’s parents — Angelica Lerma Montoya and Dulces Monge Perez — were pictured crying before they were arrested. Charges they face are child abuse resulting in great bodily harm.

It’s reported that the 5-year-old told police that her parents left her inside the truck as “punishment for not eating earlier that day.” Her parents claim that they didn’t know their daughter was on the shopping trip.

[Photo Credit: NBC News via NY Daily News]