Valdosta Police said Wednesday that a two year old boy's grandmother left the boy in the car in the Walmart parking lot on Norman Dr. Tuesday afternoon while she went into the store. They say she took her other grandchild, who was also with her in the car at the time, into the store with her.
The grandmother, 43 year old Anissa Reaves, told police she left the boy behind in the car because he was asleep and she didn't want to wake him, but police emphasized Wednesday that that is not an excuse.
Around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, a woman walked by 43 Reaves' car in the Walmart parking lot and noticed a child in the back seat sweating profusely.
Without hesitating, the woman jumped into action. "The doors were unlocked to the vehicle, so the citizen took the child out of the vehicle, took 'em inside the Walmart, and took 'em to the customer service desk," explained Valdosta Police Department Cpt. Bobbi McGraw.
The two year old was in the car for approximately 12 minutes before being rescued. He was taken to SGMC to be checked out, but did not need treatment. "[He] did not require any extensive treatment and was released to the custody of his mother as per DFACS," Cpt. McGraw said.
Family medicine doctor Richard Rickman works at the urgent care center at SGMC's Smith Northview campus. He reminded people that leaving a child in a car, even for a few minutes, can be deadly.
"The car heats up so fast in there. It's like being in an oven," Dr. Rickman emphasized. "You have a little child in there, they'll get dehydrated within minutes. They'll die.
As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Anissa Reaves had not been arrested.