Mother locks children inside hot car with a bag of meth lying on the front seat and goes shopping

24-year-old Nicole Kaylan Buffington was charged with child neglect and possession of methamphetamine after police found her children in the car


                            Mother locks children inside hot car with a bag of meth lying on the front seat and goes shopping

A Pasco County, Florida woman has been arrested after she left two of her small children inside a hot car with a bag of methamphetamine. 24-year-old Nicole Kaylan Buffington had reportedly left the kids inside so she could go shopping at a Hudson dollar store.

According to Fox 13, deputies from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call to a location on 12125 US Highway 19 in Hudson, a coastal community around 45 miles north of Tampa, to check on the welfare of two young children who were left sitting alone inside a hot vehicle. The children, determined to be a one-year-old girl and a seven-year-old boy, were both found to have been seated in the back seat of the car.

Buffington has been charged with child neglect and narcotics possession (Source: Pasco County Sheriff's Office)
Buffington has been charged with child neglect and narcotics possession (Source: Pasco County Sheriff's Office)

When the deputies investigated and searched the car, they noticed that a small, clear bag of crystal-like substance had been left in the open on the driver's seat. A field presumptive test that the officers used showed that the substance tested positive for methamphetamine, a class A narcotic according to the federal government.

Fox 13 reported that the police then located Buffington, a resident of Port Richey, at a Dollar Tree store nearby and brought her outside. An investigation into the incident revealed that the two children had been left alone inside the car between 12:06 pm and 12:29 pm.

The temperature at the time was said to have been around 83 degrees Fahrenheit or 28 degrees Celcius. It was not clear from the police report whether the windows had been left open for ventilation or if the air conditioner had been switched on. 

Inquisitr cited a report from Live Science which stated that children are at a risk of heat stroke in as little as an hour inside a parked car, even on a day where the temperatures are at the relatively lower range of the low 80s. On average, 37 children die in the US every year from being left inside hot cars.

Because the bag of methamphetamine was so easily accessible to both children, they were determined to have been placed in a state of neglect. Buffington was subsequently arrested by the authorities and transported to the Land O' Lakes Jail "without incident." 

Buffington has a previous criminal record that includes multiple arrests for narcotics possession and possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as theft and failure to appear in court.

The 24-year-old has been charged with child neglect with minor or no injury and possession of methamphetamine and was held on a $10,000 bond. It is unclear if she is currently being represented by legal counsel or if she has filed a plea. It is also unclear what happened to the two children.