A 5-month-old girl is in stable condition after being found unattended in a vehicle outside a Goodyear store.
The mother was arrested in connection with the incident.
Around 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Goodyear police said the aunt of the 5-month-old girl called and reported the child had been left in a vehicle outside Target near Yuma Road and Cotton Lane.
The baby was taken to Phoenix Children’s Hospital in unknown condition but was later said to be in stable condition.
Court documents indicate the child was in the vehicle for about 50 minutes. The temperature at the time was 100 degrees, although it is known the inside of a vehicle can increase to greater temperatures without air conditioning.
Police said the mother and the aunt of the baby had gone into the store and had forgotten about the baby. That was despite the mother’s 6-year-old daughter being seated next to the baby. The 6-year-old girl had also gone inside the store.
When asked what should happen to her, Stacey Larae Holly, 37, reportedly told police she should be arrested, knowing the incident could have turned into a death investigation. Ms. Holly was remorseful and perplexed about how she could have forgotten about her child.
“Holly was unable to explain why she left her daughter, blaming she was distracted, and talked with her sister about how she needed to ‘shave her legs,'” according to a probable cause statement.
Ms. Holly was booked into jail on charges of child abuse and endangerment but was released on her own recognizance.
The incident remains under investigation.
Goodyear police in a statement said this type of incident is 100% preventable, providing the following tips:
Look in the backseat before you lock the car and walk away
Place personal belongings such as purse, cell phone, wallet in backseat while driving
Place the child’s stuffed animal or toy in passenger seat next to driver as a reminder that child is in car
“Goodyear Police want to get the message out… ‘Look Before You Lock!'” police stated.