Seven children left unattended in hot car by babysitter rescued after four-year-old calls 911
37-year-old woman, who is the mother of two of the children and was babysitting the others, returned to the car around 10 minutes after the police arrived at the scene at the St. Charles Towne Center in Maryland
A Maryland mother was arrested and charged after a young child she was caring for called 911 to complain that she had left him and six other children in a hot car by themselves while she went shopping.
According to a press release by the Charles County Sheriff's Office, 911 received the call at around 1:06 pm on May 10, with the child unable to give the dispatcher their location so they could be rescued.
However, the dispatcher was successful in pinpointing the location of the vehicle to the St. Charles Towne Center and directed officers to the scene.
When the officers arrived, they found seven children inside the car, which was not running and had its windows rolled up despite temperatures outside climbing as high as 40 degrees that day.
The oldest of the children was just four years old and the youngest a mere two. After officers helped them out of the vehicle, they were treated on the scene by Charles County Fire and Emergency Medical Services.
WJLA reported that the call to 911 was made by the eldest child via a phone left behind in the vehicle and that, on arrival, authorities found the kids "scared" and "sweaty."
Officers said the mother had left the doors of the car unlocked but that she had told the children to not leave the vehicle.
The 37-year-old woman, who is the mother of two of the children and was babysitting the others, returned to the car around 10 minutes after the police arrived at the scene and was promptly arrested. They determined she had been shopping inside the mall for at least 20 minutes.
The sheriff's office said in the press release that the mother was arrested as it was against the law to leave a child under the age of eight 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.
Authorities said they will not be releasing her name to protect the identities of the children but did announce that she had been charged with the confinement of children inside a motor vehicle.
The press release also said officers had conferred with the Charles County State Attorney's Office and that additional charges would soon follow. The Department of Social Services will be assisting in any subsequent investigation.
In a public service announcement, the department said it was dangerous to leave anyone, including pets, inside a motor vehicle especially as outside temperatures become warmer and that temperatures inside a parked car can quickly rise to extremely high and even fatal levels in a short period of time.