KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville woman was charged with child neglect after police said she left her sleeping child in the back of a locked car and left a Walmart parking lot without realizing the child was gone.
Officers responded to the Walmart on Clinton Highway on April 6 for a report of a lost child who was found alone by employees. The child was in the parking lot looking for her mother.
The six-year-old girl told officers that she was asleep in her mother’s car with the doors locked and the windows rolled up. She said she woke up and her mom wasn’t in the car so she went to look for her.
A police report states the temperature outside at the time was around 75 degrees.
The child’s mother, identified as Hallie Cruz, was located at the store a short time later looking for her daughter.
Cruz stated that she had left her daughter in the car because she was in the backseat asleep under a blanket. She said when she returned to her vehicle and she had driven away assuming the child was still in the backseat. She was halfway home before realizing her daughter was no longer in the car.
Cruz, 25, faces one count of abuse/neglect/endangerment of a child under the age of 8. She is set to be arraigned in court on April 28.