Mother arrested for locking kids in car in Wal-Mart parking lot - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Mother arrested for locking kids in car in Wal-Mart parking lot

 By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A normal day at Wal-Mart could have ended with two children dead in Lee County. A chief deputy says 38-year-old Reggie Medina Cella had left her 3-month-old and two year old sons inside her van while she went shopping.

" I was getting worried and I kept seeing people walking up," said witness Myron Perkins. "The window was locked and the door was locked. There was nothing I could do."

Perkins parked next to the Chevrolet Venture with both kids inside around 1:00 Sunday afternoon. He says the baby was crying which attracted a crowd of concerned people.

"I wanted to punch through the glass to get them out but I couldn't," Perkins noted.

The front windows were cracked about three inches but sheriff's deputies say it wasn't enough for air to flow.

Witnesses called police. Deputies arrived, unlocked the doors and found both children inside sweating profusely. A blanket covered the 3-month-old but the mom denied covering him up. Roughly 45-minutes later she came out of Wal-Mart.

"The mother apologized and said this will never happen again, I promise," said Lee County Chief Deputy Lewis Harris.

Cella told deputies her husband is a pediatric doctor at Phoebe Hospital. When deputies called Robert Cella they say he did not ask if his children were okay. I called the husband but he refused to comment.

Deputies and people say this is a wake-up call for the hot summer months to come.

"Thank God both children are okay," Chief Harris said. "It's a very serious matter and it could have ended a lot worse than it did."

Sheriff's deputies arrested and charged Reggie Medina Cella with two counts of reckless conduct. She is currently being held in the Lee County jail until she appears before a judge.

Deputies made several calls to the Department of Child and Family Services. Employees there have not returned calls.  

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