Police in Florida say a 3-year-old toddler was intentionally left in a hot car while her grandmother and father shopped inside a Walmart store. WTSP News 10 reports that the duo is now facing steep charges associated with the incident, which left the child lucky to be alive.
Authorities say the incident took place on the afternoon of Aug. 10, at a Walmart store in Lake Wales. A little after 4 p.m., a customer at the store let an employee know that a small child was locked in a car in the store’s parking lot. This prompted store employees to call the police, which was fortunate. By the time police arrived at the scene, the 3-year-old girl was reportedly so sweaty that her hair was wet. She was also red in the face from being trapped in the hot car.
Authorities say that surveillance footage obtained from the Lake Wales Walmart shows 57-year-old Anna Adams and 28-year-old Timothy Adams walking away from the locked vehicle, which was not running, with a 6-year-old child in tow. The footage appears to show Anna Adams looking behind them as they walked away, looking back at the trapped toddler.
The temperature outside was approximately 86 degrees, but with the humidity “felt” like 95 degrees. This means that the temperature inside of the locked car could have risen to as high as 172 degrees — which could indeed kill a 3-year-old toddler. The Heat Kills website illustrates how hot a car can get when temperatures outside are high.
Children locked in hot cars is a popular news topic during the summer months, and for good reason. Numerous children die in hot cars from heatstroke every year, with the year 2015 seeing at least 50 cases. In fact, since the late 1980s, more than 1,300 children have died of heatstroke while locked in hot cars.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) August 11, 2016
In June, 2014, a Georgia man by the name of Justin Harris became a media sensation — for all the wrong reasons. That’s because the Georgia dad left his 22-month-old son, Cooper, in his car for at least seven hours. This, of course, resulted in the death of the infant, who roasted in a locked SUV on a day that outside temperatures reached as high as 90 degrees. At the time, Harris claimed that he had “forgotten” to drop his son off at daycare before heading to his place of employment. However, it was later revealed that this may not have been an accident at all. Dubbed “Hot Car Dad,” by the media, Justin Harris has been accused of intentionally killing his own son by locking him in a hot car for seven hours.
Authorities in Florida believe that this latest case may end up similar to the “Hot Car Dad” case, due to some of the circumstances. They do not believe that the 3-year-old toddler was accidentally left behind to suffer in the sweltering environment of the locked vehicle. In other words, they’re not buying the stories provided by the Florida man and Florida woman that have been arrested.
— KidsAndCars.org (@KidsAndCars) July 31, 2016
Police say that the toddler’s grandmother and father acted like they didn’t know that the little girl was locked in the car. Both of the adults allegedly thought that the other had the girl. Authorities believe this isn’t true, judging by their behavior shown in surveillance footage. Fortunately, the child in this case is doing fine after being treated, briefly, at an area hospital. As for the child’s grandmother and father, they’ve both been charged with child neglect without bodily harm. They are currently being held in Polk County Jail.
Do you think the two suspects intentionally locked the 3-year-old toddler in the hot car, or is it possible that they accidentally left the young child behind, while remembering the other one?
[Photo via Polk County Jail]