A woman who police say left her children in a hot car at the Hiram Wal-Mart earlier this month has been charged with two counts of cruelty to children.
Hiram police officers were dispatched to parking lot at the Wal-Mart at 4166 Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway in Hiram on Oct. 8 in reference to two small children locked in an unattended vehicle, according to a release from the Hiram Police Department.
When police arrived, Sgt. Jesse Dunbar found two small female juveniles ages 4 and 7 inside a blue Hyundai Sonata with the windows rolled up and the car not running, according to the release from Hiram PD.
"The children were in obvious distress and were sweating profusely," the release reads. "Sergeant Dunbar was able to talk one of the frightened children into unlocking the door where he was able to get them out of the hot car that had no obvious air flow."
Outside temperatures were estimated at 81 degrees at the time of the incident and the interior of the vehicle was estimated to be around 100-plus degrees, according to the release.
It was learned via Wal-Mart's surveillance video that the mother, identified as 34 year old Ashley Lee of Dallas had arrived at Wal-Mart at 12:35 p.m. and returned with a cart full of groceries just after 1 p.m., according to the Hiram PD release. The children were checked out and released to a family friend and Lee was taken into custody and booked into the Paulding County Adult Detention Center on two counts of second degree cruelty to children, according to the release.
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Police credit witnesses who called 911 for the safety of these children.
Studies show that temperatures inside locked, hot cars rise quickly. For example, if it is 95 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car rises to 114 within 10 minutes, 124 in 20 minutes, 129 in 30 minutes, 133 in 40 minutes, 136 in 50 minutes and 140 by the one-hour mark.