California Mother Arrested for Leaving Babies in Car in Nearly 100-Degree Heat

July 11, 2018 Updated: July 11, 2018    

A California woman was arrested for allegedly leaving her two young children, both under the age of 2, inside a hot car while she shopped at a Walmart in Southern California.

Crystal Gonzales, 34, of Fontana, was arrested on Sunday after a security guard saw a group of people gathered around a white SUV in the Ontario store parking lot.

The two children were allegedly “in distress due to the high temperatures,” Ontario police Detective Melissa Ramirez told the San Bernardino Sun. Temperatures in the area reached nearly 100 degrees.

“The AC was not on, the windows were slightly cracked, but the car was off and the doors were locked,” Ramirez added.

Gonzales, who told police that she is the children’s mother, was shopping in the store for about 30 minutes before she returned, police said.

She told police that the children were asleep when she went to the store and didn’t want to wake them before going inside, Fox17 reported. “Both children were medically evaluated at the scene but ended up not needing to be transported to a hospital,” Ramirez said.

Gonzales faces a child endangerment charge. She was released after posting $100,000 bail, it was reported.

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The two children were handed over to Child Protective Services, the Daily Bulletin reported.

Curtis Owens said he and his family were leaving the store when he noticed that the large white SUV wasn’t parked correctly.

“That’s the first thing I notice,” Owens told the Daily Bulletin. “Then I hear music. The music is playing but I didn’t see anyone inside. Then my daughter says, ‘I think someone is in there.’ I look in the backseat and that’s when I see the carseat and I see the toddler.”

Owens said he tried to open the car doors but they were locked. Then, he ran into the store and alerted employees that children were inside a hot vehicle. “At that point, I think people saw me being frantic and started gathering around the vehicle,” Owens said.

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