NEWHALL, Calif. – A woman was arrested for investigation of child cruelty after the California Highway Patrol (search) officer who pulled her car over found nine people crammed inside, including two children in the trunk.
"I have never heard of this," said Officer Wendy Hahn, a 24-year CHP veteran. "There was no room left in the car, so she puts two of the kids in the trunk. We're trying to get people to buckle up, and this is what we find."
Lavern Dunlap, 35, of Glendora was pulled over about 8 p.m. Friday on the Antelope Valley Freeway (search) after another driver reported seeing a woman closing the trunk of her car with two children inside as the vehicle sat parked on the shoulder.
The CHP said Dunlap told the officer who stopped her she was heading from her home in Glendora to her sister's house in Palmdale (search), about a 60-mile trip.
The officer discovered a 15-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl in the trunk, four children in the back seat, an adult in the front passenger seat with a child on her lap and Dunlap behind the wheel.
No one was wearing a seat belt, according to the officer, and the children in the trunk were sweating profusely.
The CHP said Dunlap told the officer she frequently puts one or two children in the trunk when she can't fit them all in the car, adding she is careful to check on them often.