The Charlotte Observer
Louisiana police are crediting a Walmart employee with helping to save a newborn left alone in a hot car.
The Slidell Police Department was first notified of the situation around 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 7, when it received a call about an apparently impaired woman with her child in the Walmart parking lot, according to a release from the department. At first, police said they were unable to locate the woman, but witnesses confirmed to police that she left in a gray Honda Odyssey minivan.
About an hour later, police said they received another call from a Walmart employee who reported spotting the woman walking around the store “highly intoxicated” without her child.
Police said they rushed to the scene and located the woman in the store and the 16-day-old left in the parked minivan covered in a blanket. After forcibly entering the vehicle, officers said they found the vehicle “extremely hot” with the air conditioning unit blowing hot air.
The baby was rushed to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
“If it was not for the alert Walmart employee and the quick actions of our officers, this incident would have resulted in the death of this young two-week-old,“ Police Chief Randy Fandal said in the department’s release. “As terrible of a situation this was, it could have been a lot worse.”
The baby has been placed in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services.
Police said it was later discovered the woman had also been involved in a hit-and-run accident earlier in the day.
She was arrested and booked into the Slidell City Jail. She faces charges for cruelty to juveniles, driving while intoxicated with child endangerment, hit and run and improper child restraint, police said, and will be soon transferred to the St. Tammany Parish Jail.