Couple Arrested After Kids Left in Hot Car

Indiana parents face felony charges
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2024 1:30 AM CDT
Couple Arrested After Kids Left in Hot Car
"We never want to leave our kids unattended, much less when it's hot outside," said IMPD Sgt. Anthony Patterson.   (Getty Images/Thomas De Wever)

Over the last 25 years, around a thousand American children have died after being left in hot cars—and there might have been two more to add to the list if not for the actions of a passerby in Lawrence, Indiana. Police say they received a call about children in distress inside an SUV in a Walmart parking lot on Monday, USA Today reports. The Lawrence Police Department says two children, one of them an infant, were locked in the SUV for around 45 minutes while their parents were shopping. One child "was sweating profusely from his head and neck" and the other was "quiet and seemed dazed, not sweating at all," a police report said.

Police estimated that the temperature inside the Ford Edge, which wasn't running, reached 125 degrees Fahrenheit. When parents Mirianne Pierre and Watson Joseph returned to the vehicle, they were taken to the Marion County Jail and booked on two felony counts of neglect of a dependent, WTTV reports. The children were placed in the the care of the Department of Children's Services, police said.

"We are pleased to report that the children are OK and this situation had the best outcome possible," said Lawrence Police Department Capt. Michael Sostre, per USA Today. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said that with high temperatures expected to continue in the region, people shouldn't leave children or pets unattended in vehicles even with the windows cracked. "We never want to leave our kids unattended, much less when it's hot outside. The moment we shut that engine off the temperatures rise really rapidly," said IMPD Sgt. Anthony Patterson. "So you may feel it's only a couple minutes, but to the person or child inside the car, that's an eternity. It gets really hot really fast." (More hot cars stories.)

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