Police: Parents arrested after baby left in hot van at Upstate W - FOX Carolina 21

Police: Parents arrested after baby left in hot van at Upstate Walmart

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Cordarius Gray (L) and Laquetta Mallory (Source: Spartanburg Co. Detention) Cordarius Gray (L) and Laquetta Mallory (Source: Spartanburg Co. Detention)
Dorman Centre Walmart (June 7, 2017/FOX Carolina) Dorman Centre Walmart (June 7, 2017/FOX Carolina)

The Spartanburg Police Department said a child was left in a hot car outside a Walmart store on Wednesday.

Officers and EMS responded to the Walmart on Dorman Centre Drive between 4 and 5 p.m. in regards to a child abandonment call.

According to the incident report, Halley Lambert, an Upstate elementary school teacher and mother of three, was loading up her own children into a shopping cart in the parking lot when she heard a baby crying.

"I knew it wasn't our child. It sounded different," Lambert said. "A mom hears a baby crying, whether its theirs or not."

The report states Lambert then saw the baby in a van with the windows rolled up. She said the 6-month-old girl was sweating, alone inside. As of 5:15 p.m., the average temperature in Spartanburg was 75 degrees.

She said when she realized the baby was alone in the car, she tried to open the doors but they were locked so she ran to get help from store employees.

Police the manager and co-manager of the Walmart came out to the vehicle where they saw the infant sweating and shaking inside the van, before deciding to break out the windows of the vehicle to get to the child. Lambert said they used a crowbar to bust the windows out.

The employee, after smashing a rear window of the van, was able to reach in and unlock the car seat straps, pulling the baby out. Police said the employee described the car seat as "soaked in sweat."

"The baby was very, very upset," Lambert said. "Screaming and crying."

The child was not injured when the windows were busted out of the van, according to the incident report.

The employees then contacted EMS and city police about the incident. EMS took custody of the baby when they arrived at the scene, and transported her to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.

The incident report said that the child's father, later identified as Cordarius Gray, told police he dropped one of his children off with his mother and was supposed to leave the baby with her as well, but became distracted and never did so, proceeding on to Walmart and forgetting she was inside the vehicle. Gray told police he had been up since 1 a.m. and hadn't slept since, the report states.

According to the incident report, the mother of the baby girl, Laquetta Mallory told police "when she arrived at Wal-Mart she honestly forgot" the baby was in the car.

Police said the couple brought two children into the store with them.

"Things don't add up," Lambert said.

On Friday, officers said Gray and Mallory were arrested in connection with the case. They are charged with child neglect.

Gray and Mallory bonded out of the jail around 4 a.m. Friday.

Walmart released the following statement on the incident:

We cannot stress enough the importance that parents always check their cars and have their children with them at all times while at our stores. We’re grateful this baby wasn’t hurt and that the quick thinking of our associates and local emergency crews helped prevent the situation from taking a tragic turn.

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