A Wisconsin mom is facing charges of child neglect after allegedly leaving her three children -- only one of them over the age of two -- in her freezing car while she shopped at Kmart, MSN is reporting. When questioned by police, the mom allegedly told cops she "didn't want to deal with" putting them in a shopping cart.
Ashley Pirlot, 26, was arrested for this alleged crime on November 16, but the story is only now getting national press coverage.
Police say that they were called to the parking lot of a Kmart in Cudahy, in suburban Milwaukee, after reports of three small children left alone in a car. The temperature outside was about 35 degrees -- just a few degrees warmer than the freezing point.
Inside the vehicle were three children: a six-year-old girl, a 17-month-old girl, and a six-month-old girl. The 17-month-old was in a car seat, allegedly wearing a dirty diaper and a partially-unzipped pajama onesie. The six-month-old was in an infant carrier, and though she had a blanket, her bare feet were exposed. A nearby plastic bag was within her reach, making a possible choking hazard. She, too, was in a dirty diaper.
The six-year-old allegedly told police that her mother told her to keep an eye on her siblings while she shopped inside. The girl also asked for food and water, telling cops she "hadn't eaten in a while."
"There were no diapers, formula, food, or drink cups inside the vehicle to care for the children."
Police brought bottles, snacks, blankets, and fresh diapers to the kids and helped them get warm while other officers went inside Kmart to track down their mother.
Once she was located, Pirlot allegedly told police she had been inside shopping for "seven or eight minutes." However, according to surveillance video, she had actually been inside for at least 17 minutes by the time police arrived to help the kids.
When questioned, Pirlot allegedly said that she "didn't want to deal with" putting the kids in a shopping cart. She also allegedly told police that, when she was a little girl, her mother did the same thing to her, leaving her alone in a car in winter temperatures while her own mother watched a football game.
Brought before a judge this week, according to a WITI-TV (Milwaukee) report, Pirlot pleaded not guilty to three counts of neglecting a child. She is due to return to court for a preliminary hearing on December 10. It remains unclear, as of this writing, whether or not she has paid bail or remains behind bars.