ANDERSON, Ind. – A pregnant woman in Anderson was behind bars Wednesday accused of child neglect.
Prosecutors claim the suspect left five children alone inside a running car during a visit to the doctor.
Surveillance video at a medical building on Meridian shows the young children were left alone for nearly 40 minutes before being found.
In the back of the parking lot on Monday, Anderson police found a minivan running, unlocked with the A-C turned to low and five children alone inside. The oldest was just 8 years old.
That led to five counts of felony neglect being filed against 23-year-old Chessany Marie Robbins.
The prosecutor hopes the neglect charges serve as a reminder to drivers everywhere.
“You know it’s just too dangerous for children to be unattended and the conditions of this vehicle were awful,” said Madison County prosecutor Rodney Cummings.
According to the affidavit, one of the children was naked inside the van, another appeared pale and lethargic, one said they urinated and defecated inside a box and three of the kids had vomited.
“I can’t imagine being left in there for 40 minutes, whether the engine was on or off, it was a miserable environment in that vehicle,” said Cummings.
Every summer Indiana State Police and others raise awareness about the dangers of hot cars. Anderson police claim the temperature on Monday was only 74 degrees, but health experts insist even that can be dangerous.
“We know the average temperature, but when you add the humidity it increases the impact and heat index greatly,” said Dr. Virginia Caine with the Marion County Health Department.
Before being arrested, Robbins told police three of the children inside the van her kids, while the other two belonged to her stepmother and she thought leaving the kids with the 8-year-old would be okay.
Still, prosecutor Cummings has a message for every parent who gets behind the wheel.
“Please don’t leave children unattended in an automobile. It’s far too dangerous,” said Cummings.
The suspect remains behind bars for 10 days on a probation violation, but after that initial hold, she is expected to be released pending trial.