Charles Co. sheriff: Woman left 7 kids locked in car while shopping

Charles County map(Danny Yi)
A 37-year-old woman is charged after leaving seven children — two of her own and five she was baby-sitting — locked inside a parked car in Charles County, Maryland, while she went shopping.

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office said the woman, who will not be identified to protect the victims, had been shopping inside the St. Charles Towne Center in Waldorf for at least 20 minutes on Friday, May 10.

Charles County police got a call from a child telling them that he and six other children were locked in a car unattended and hot, according to a Friday news release from the sheriff’s office.

Though the child did not know where they were, police were able to track them back to the St. Charles Towne Center using GPS and found the car with the engine off and the windows rolled up, according to police.

The oldest of the children in the car was 4 and the youngest was 2. Officers helped the children out of the car while Charles County Fire and EMS provided medical treatment at the scene.

About 10 minutes after police got to the scene, the driver walked up and was charged with confining children inside a motor vehicle.

Additional charges are pending. The Department of Social Services are also assisting in the investigation.

“As a reminder, it is against the law to leave a child under the age of eight unattended inside a motor vehicle if the caregiver is out of sight of the child unless a reliable person at least 13-years-old remains with the child,” the Charles County Sheriff’s Office said in a Friday news release.

“It is also dangerous to leave anyone, including pets, inside a motor vehicle especially as outside temperatures become warmer. The temperature inside a parked car can quickly rise to extremely high and even fatal levels in a short period of time.”

Below is a map near the St. Charles Towne Center in Waldorf.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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