CLINTON TWP, Mich. (WJBK) - On one of the hottest days in years, three small children were left inside a minivan for almost half an hour but the woman who left her two kids and one niece behind is getting just a ticket.
Three small children, ages 6, 4 and 2, were left alone inside a locked gold minivan in the Meijer parking lot in Clinton Township Sunday morning.
"How do you as a parent knowing that you're responsible for your child, leave them in a car with this type of weather," Tony Sykes wonders.
Police were called to the store around 9 a.m. Sunday and found the children in the car. One officer went inside to find a parent while the other officer worked to get the 6-year-old to open the door.
Officers say when she did they were hit with a blast of hot air and all three kids were drenched in sweat. Officers immediately gave them water to drink.
"It's terrible out here. It's 94 degrees and humidity. I can't understand why a person would do that, even if it's for 5 minutes," Sykes said.
Investigators say a 37-year old Mt Clemens woman left the three young girls as she went inside the store. She told police she had been outside to check on them several times but officers say when they checked surveillance video, she had never been outside in the time she was inside the store before police arrived and found her.
Paramedics called to the scene and the kids were checked out and fortunately, police said nobody was hurt.
Dr. Julie Lata is an ER doctor at McClaren McComb and says children and elderly are especially vulnerable in extreme heat.
"Those kids are at a very high risk for heat exhaustion, heat stroke and the longer someone is in poor conditions and the longer any potential treatment for cooling any patient, whether it's pediatric or not, the higher the mortality rates. People can die from this," Dr. Lata said.
Based on state law, a child under the age of 6 can be left unattended inside a vehicle as long as they are not injured. Investigators say this mom is facing two counts of child neglect.
Police say they are sending a report to the township attorney with a warrant request and a copy of the report will also be sent to Child Protective Services for review.