Valdosta parents arrested when child is found in hot car

Updated: Aug. 2, 2017 at 11:10 AM EDT
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VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - About 6:00 Monday evening, Valdosta Police were dispatched to a restaurant in the 2800 block of North Ashley Street, where a child was left unattended in a hot vehicle.

A concerned citizen advised officers that a 3-year-old child had been left in a car unattended with the windows rolled up and the engine was turned off. The temperature at the time of the call was 86 degrees.

Officers found the parents in the restaurant, the child was taken out of the vehicle immediately, and paramedics were called to examine the child, who was OK.

The parents identified as 27-year-old Timothy Kelly and 30-year-old Jessica Brown said they knew the child was inside the vehicle, but said it wasn't a problem, because they had only been inside for two minutes.

But surveillance footage from the business showed that Kelly and Brown had been inside for 20 minutes.

The parents were taken into custody, and the Division of Family and Children Services was notified about the incident.  A relative came to the site and took custody of the child.

Both Kelly and Brown were transported to the Lowndes County Jail. A warrant was taken for one count of Reckless Conduct for each.

"The Valdosta Police Department thanks the citizen who called for emergency assistance, had she not been concerned for the child's safety, the result could have been deadly," said Lieutenant Adam Bembry.

Data from San Francisco State University shows the heat inside the enclosed vehicle would have risen an estimated 29 degrees within the 20 minutes the child was left inside the vehicle –with both windows rolled up and no air conditioning. The outside temperature of 86 degrees combined with the increase of 29 degrees brings the estimated temperature inside the vehicle to 115 degrees when police arrived on scene.

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