Good Samaritan found baby in hot car - - Jackson, MS

Good Samaritan found baby in hot car

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FLOWOOD, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A couple is behind bars Saturday after Flowood Police said they kept an infant locked inside a hot vehicle in the Walmart parking lot. 

It happened just before 2:00 p.m. outside the Walmart on Lakeland Drive in Flowood.  A good Samaritan noticed the child and called police.   She spoke exclusively to WLBT.

The temperature was 94 degrees by 2:00 p.m. Saturday, but the heat index pushed it well over 100 degrees.  Tammy Mathis and her daughter were walking into the Flowood Walmart when the painful cries of an infant made them stop.

"We noticed there was a baby in a black Tahoe that was just screaming.  The closer we got to the car we noticed the windows were up. The car was off and there was nobody in there," said Mathis.

She is a nurse and immediately knew the baby was in a dangerous situation.  Mathis called 911 and Flowood Police officers responded.  At that time the baby's father arrived and unlocked the doors.  Medical personnel brought the infant inside the air conditioned store.

"His legs were soaked from sweating. His body was hot and he was red," said Mathis.  "We later found out this baby had been in the car for 13 minutes or so. I don't know how he was able to tolerate it."

The infant's father, 36-year-old Thomas Morris of Texas, was taken into custody and charged with felony child neglect.  The mother was found inside Walmart. 

Twenty-eight-year old Theresa Sheppard of Texas, was charged with felony child neglect, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

"It breaks my heart.  How could anyone leave their child in the car?  How could you not know your child is in the backseat?" asked Mathis.

The infant was taken to UMC as a precaution and will be released to the Department of Human Services which will place the child with local family members.

©2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.

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