SLIDELL, La. – A Louisiana police officer rescued a 5-week-old baby locked for more than a half hour inside a sweltering car on a summer day after someone noticed the child unconscious in the back seat and called 911, authorities said.
The woman told police she had just dropped off her other child and forgot the baby was in the back seat in the strip mall parking lot. Temperatures outside reached above 90 degrees on Tuesday. The temperature inside the car was about 130 degrees. The baby has made a full recovery.
The mother of the infant, Gloria Elzy, 44, of Slidell, Louisiana, was in custody Wednesday on a charge of second-degree cruelty to juveniles and a warrant for failure to appear for an unrelated case.
The age of Elzy's older child is not known but both children are now with Child Protective Services, which has opened an investigation into the incident.
"With all the media attention on this type of issue, it's mindboggling to me that someone can leave, better yet, forget, about a child inside of a vehicle," Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith said.
Police said someone reported seeing an unresponsive child in a car around 5 p.m. on Tuesday and called 911. When Officer Joshua Funck arrived, he used a device to unlock the vehicle and removed the infant, who was sweating profusely. The child was rushed to an area hospital, revived and has since made a full recovery, Seuzeneau said.
"If the citizen wouldn't have immediately called Slidell Police, and Officer Funck didn't act quickly, the baby would not have survived," Smith said. "They are both heroes in my book."
Slidell Police Detective Daniel M. Seuzeneau said in a news release Wednesday that bond had not been set for Elzy and he did not know if she was represented by an attorney.