January 15th, 2013
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) - Police in Cumberland County said a mother left her 20-day-old baby unattended in a car while she shopped at a Walmart.
Silver Spring Township police said an officer patrolling the Walmart parking lot noticed a car taking up three parking spaces. They said when the officer investigated, he discovered the infant girl wrapped in a blanket, lying on the floor board behind the passenger’s seat.
Police said the child’s mother, 29-year-old Nataliya Ward of Enola, came jogging up to the car a few minutes later and told police she ran into the store for only a few seconds because she needed to get food and didn’t have anyone to help her.
According to court documents, surveillance video showed Ward leaving the parked car with a shopping cart and returning 10 minutes later.
Police said the baby was not harmed, despite the cold temperature.
“It was like 25 degrees that day with the wind chill factor,” Silver Spring police superintendent Richard Hammon said. “We always have those horror stories every summer, somewhere, of a child dying. We do get those kind of calls, but this may be the first in the winter.”
Ward was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and leaving a child unattended in a vehicle.
Police said a referral has been made to Cumberland County Children and Youth Services.