A homeless Scottsdale, AZ woman was arrested and her children placed in protective custody after she left them in her car to go to a job interview. Think Progress reported that Shanesha Taylor, 35, left her two-year-old and six-month-old in the car with the windows cracked for 45 minutes because she didn’t have anywhere else to leave them.
The Scottsdale Police Department told Eyewitness 3 News that a witness heard a child crying in a Dodge Durango van in the parking lot of an office complex shortly after 12:30 p.m. last Thursday. The witness told police that the vehicle was parked in the direct sun with the engine off and the windows only slightly cracked.
The temperature inside a parked car can rapidly rise much higher than the temperature outside thanks to the greenhouse effect. A car in the direct sun on a 70-degree day can quickly become as hot inside as 100 degrees.
High temperatures in Scottsdale were over 81 degrees on Thursday, according to Weather.com. Police and fire units responded to the scene.
When Taylor arrived back at the vehicle, she was arrested by police. Her children were handed over to Child Protective Services.
“She was upset,” said Scottsdale Police Sargent Mark Clark to WFSB. “This is a sad situation all around. She said she was homeless, she needed the job. Obviously, not getting the job. So it’s just a sad situation.”
Taylor was charged with two counts of felony child abuse. Think Progress reported that she remains in jail, where she is expected to stay until her trial date.
Update, 8:47 p.m. EST: An online fundraising campaign seeking to raise $9,000 on behalf of Taylor has nearly doubled its goal as of Thursday night.
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David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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