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Parents cited for leaving children unattended in hot cars

Posted: 10:50 PM, Jul 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-09 23:50:39-04
At least 17 kids have died in hot cars so far this year

MURFREESBORO, Tenn (WTVF) — As temperatures get hotter and hotter police are issuing a warning about leaving children unattended in hot cars. Murfreesboro police have already responded to two separate cases just this month, it's enough to upset Shelby Walker.

Walker said she always keeps a close eye on her nephew, so leaving him unattended in a hot car is something she says she would never do.

"I would never let him out of my sight, ever. If I go into a store he’s always with me and I don't know who in her right mind would leave their kid in a hot car, it’s 99 degrees outside," Walker said.

Thankfully, in both situations the children were okay but the police department says it could have ended much worse.

"In one case, a man went inside a grocery store actually to buy a bottle of wine and left a 4-year-old and a 7-year-old inside of his vehicle," said Larry Flowers, Murfreesboro PD spokesperson.

Flowers says in both cases customers stepped up to report the crime.

"The windows were up, and the officer reported it was about 90 degrees outside, so you can imagine how dangerous that could have been with those children inside of that vehicle," said Flowers.

The case from June 3rd was a mother who left her 1-year-old in the car with the engine running.

Both parents weren't arrested but issued citations and will have to appear before a judge. Walker says she hopes this stands as a warning for parents.

"If it’s easy for you to get out of the car, it’s just as easy for them to get out of the car," Walker said.

The parents who left their children unattended with were issued misdemeanor citations. The Department of Child Services was also called in to investigate.