SLIDELL, La. – The mother of a 5-week-old infant was in custody Wednesday after she left the child locked inside a car for more than 30 minutes while parked at a Slidell strip mall.
Police booked Gloria Elzy, 44, of Slidell, on Tuesday on a charge of second-degree cruelty to juveniles and a warrant for failure to appear for an unrelated case. Slidell Police Detective Daniel M. Seuzeneau said in a news release Wednesday that Elzy told investigators she forgot the child was in the car.
Elzy told officials she had dropped off her other child at a friend's house, and totally forgot to take her 5-week-old out of the car, Seuzeneau said.
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," 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. According to a news release the temperatures were in the 90s Tuesday when Funck arrived and the temperature inside the car was 130 degrees or more.
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."
Seuzeneau said that bond had not been set for Elzy and he did not know if she was represented by an attorney.