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Woman jailed after 4-year-old found in hot car

Friday, July 6, 2012 2:31 PM
Last updated 8:42 PM
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 A Hephzibah woman whose 4-year-old daughter was found in her locked vehicle said she didn’t know the child was in the SUV.

Tanya Lopez  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Tanya Lopez

Richmond County sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Carrier said a passer-by saw the child buckled in a Subaru Forester at Bi-Lo, 3457 Peach Orchard Road, around 4 p.m. Monday. The store manager contacted police.

Tanya Lopez, 31, told authorities the child must have sneaked into the SUV and buckled herself into the seat.

The child was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital and treated for dehydration.

Carrier estimates the girl was in the vehicle for about 20 minutes before being found. Deputies did not test to see how hot the interior of the car was, but according to the National Weather Service, temperatures reached a high of 95 degrees Monday in Augusta.

Lopez was booked into the Richmond County jail on charges of depravation of a minor. Carrier said Lopez was not charged with cruelty to children because there would be no long-term effects on the child’s health.

Lopez has been released on bond.

Comments (29) Add comment
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Fiat_Lux
15369
Points
Fiat_Lux 07/06/12 - 02:47 pm
10
0
Talk about luck...

I reckon the rear view mirror in her car is just for hanging furry dice.

What did the kid say about how she got left in there?

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 07/06/12 - 03:11 pm
7
3
I don't know which is worse

I don't know which is worse leaving her in the car, or not even noticing that she wasn't with you in the store. I would've known right away that my children were not in the store soon as I didn't hear can I have this, that, this... Glad to see the baby girl is going to be fine.

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 07/06/12 - 03:21 pm
6
2
Huh?

Why would she notice the child wasn't in the store? Because she didn't know (as she claims) the child was in the car HS!
I'll reserve judgement until full details come out. It is possible the child went to the car herself, and yes a 4 yr old can strap themselves in.
This article clearly is leaving stuff out as Fiat brought up info that should have been asked already.

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 07/06/12 - 03:24 pm
3
4
I personally know this woman

I personally know this woman and she's a good mother. I can not believe that she deliberately left her daughter in a hot car.

fatboyhog
1940
Points
fatboyhog 07/06/12 - 03:25 pm
4
2
Yeah, because 4 year olds are

Yeah, because 4 year olds are so sneaky and stealthy.

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 07/06/12 - 03:30 pm
3
3
fatboyhog, if she knew her

fatboyhog, if she knew her mother was going to the store and she didn't want to stay with her siblings then I can see her sneaking into the car and waiting in the car for her mom. This child has a very quiet nature, I'm not sure I've even heard her speak, so I can see her doing something like this without Tanya knowing, especially if she was in a hurry to go to the store and get back without leaving the children for too long.

GodisSoGood
892
Points
GodisSoGood 07/06/12 - 03:50 pm
5
0
What is wrong with people?

I agree a child can strap themselves in, but what is the likelihood that a child would willingly go get into a scorching hot car and buckle themselves in. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

scoobynews
3854
Points
scoobynews 07/06/12 - 03:54 pm
8
1
I find that hard to believe.

I find that hard to believe. Didn't know the child was in the car?? Really! As the mother of a 3 1/2 year old, I can tell you that he would not quietly sit in the back seat the whole ride to the store. I have never forgot he was in the car and he sure has never sneaked into the car.

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 07/06/12 - 04:12 pm
3
4
GodisSoGood, how do you know

GodisSoGood, how do you know the car was scorching when the child got into it? What if the vehicle was parked in a garage? Scoobynews, we can not always determine what other people's children will or will not do based on what our children's behavior. Like I said, this little girl is very quiet. Just thankful that someone saw her and she is going to be okay. My prayers are with Tanya and the rest of the family.

happychimer
17476
Points
happychimer 07/06/12 - 04:13 pm
5
2
It is hard to believe the

It is hard to believe the mother did not know her child was in the car.I check out the front and back seat before I get in my car. I is hot weather too. I don't think a 4 yr old would hide in a hot car.

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 07/06/12 - 04:28 pm
3
6
With tinted windows and this

With tinted windows and this being an SUV, I can see where someone in a hurry would just get into the vehicle and could possibly not realize a small child was in the back seat. Happy, you are wise to check both front and back seats when getting into a vehicle and it's a good habit but not every does.

happychimer
17476
Points
happychimer 07/06/12 - 04:51 pm
5
0
Well, I certainly don't want

Well, I certainly don't want to be driving down the road, and someone jump up from the back seat and grab me.My windows are tinted too, but not dark.

seenitB4
86829
Points
seenitB4 07/06/12 - 04:57 pm
4
1
Well stuff happens

I once left a teenage daughter at the shopping center because I forgot she was with me......made it almost to my house but hit a bump in the road & it kinda woke me up....I realized the she wasn't in the car...heh ...at least she was old enough o take care of herself til I got there.
Yes..I do know why this happened but I'd rather not go into this on national cyber space posting....:)

kayekaye37
44
Points
kayekaye37 07/06/12 - 05:11 pm
9
0
To hot for anyone!

Come on...Yes, she can buckle herself in but there is no way the child was that quiet on the ride to the store. A 4yo does not stop talking for anyone! She was to be left @ home with other kids? How old were they? Too much left out of the story. Ask the child how she got in and I am sure she can tell ya.

Frank I
1191
Points
Frank I 07/06/12 - 05:12 pm
3
3
you know ICL, if you didn't

you know ICL, if you didn't happen to know the negligent party in this particular incident, you'd be on the other side of the fence.. I've seen before.. why the different tone? shouldn't everyone be afforded the same skepticism?

OhWell
326
Points
OhWell 07/06/12 - 05:23 pm
6
0
Well if she snuck in the car

Well if she snuck in the car did whoever was susposed to be watching her at home not miss her and alert the mother. This does not add up.

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 07/06/12 - 06:14 pm
3
4
Frank I, if you know me so

Frank I, if you know me so well, and have read most of my post, then you'd know that I usually try and not form an opinion until more information is reported. Yes everyone should be afforded the same skepticism unless proven otherwise. If you are going to accuse, how about posting some proof instead of throwing out insults.

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 07/06/12 - 06:18 pm
2
4
kayekaye37, do you know the

kayekaye37, do you know the child? Don't think so. I do. It's possibly that she was quiet. Not every 4 year old is a chatter box.

Fiat_Lux
15369
Points
Fiat_Lux 07/06/12 - 06:35 pm
4
1
It's not hard

to understand how a 4yo might do something like this. And the car possibly wasn't hot when it took off or even when it stopped at the store, if it was air conditioned like most cars. A preschooler wouldn't understand about the danger.

This situation needed a sharp LEO right at the beginning of this incident, one who could have found out what had transpired before the kid was traumatized at seeing her mom carted off in cuffs. Even if she did climb in without mom's knowledge, it might be tough to get her to admit it now if she has an idea she might get carted off herself.

allhans
23619
Points
allhans 07/06/12 - 07:30 pm
4
0
I don't think it is possible

I don't think it is possible not to know. The child just sat quietly on the way, didn't ask to go in the store with her.....come on. folks! A four year old can open an unlocked (apparently) car door, buckle herself in but can't unbuckle?

The mother might have forgotten -
but to say she never knew?

dwb619
93244
Points
dwb619 07/06/12 - 08:04 pm
1
0
Is the mother to be charged

Is the mother to be charged with FI( felonious ignorance)?

r
400
Points
r 07/06/12 - 09:58 pm
3
0
Rear view Mirror!!!

A child is in his/her car seat strapped in and as you back the car up and drive down the road you never saw the child was buckled in the car set? Sneak in car maybe buckle her self in yes. Ride down the road and never be seen I strongly doubt couldn't be hiding if she was buckled in her car seat...People walking in the parking lot could see her ?

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 07/06/12 - 10:12 pm
1
4
r, the article stated she was

r, the article stated she was buckled in the seat but it never specified if she was in the seat or car seat. If the mother was unaware of the child in the car, got out of the car at Bilo's and never looked in the back seat, it is possible she didn't see the child. The family lives appx. 5 mins. from Bilo's so it's not like she had to drive very far and possibly never even looked in her rearview mirror. So many "IF's" and no answers, but everyone just assumes she PURPOSELY left her child in a hot car. It is possible that she really didn't know, either way I'd say she's paying dearly for it now.

allhans
23619
Points
allhans 07/06/12 - 10:58 pm
4
0
Thank God for the passer-by

It could have been a tragedy.
The child and the mother are lucky that this was discovered before it was too late.

Jake
32518
Points
Jake 07/06/12 - 10:59 pm
4
0
I dunno

When my children were that small I knew where they were ALL of the time. They were helpless so I made sure that they were safe. Not knowing is NOT an excuse to a caring parent.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 07/07/12 - 08:30 am
1
0
Thank you God, , that baby

Thank you God, , that baby was not harmed and that her mom and others will learn from this. And I especially thank you for helping me when I locked mine in the car with the keys inside on a hundred degree day.

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 07/07/12 - 09:11 am
1
0
Thank you Willow and God

Thank you Willow and God Bless!

JRC2024
8847
Points
JRC2024 07/07/12 - 09:27 am
2
0
Happens every summer with

Happens every summer with pets and children. Pay attention.

MissMatch
5
Points
MissMatch 07/07/12 - 11:49 am
3
1
Really?

So this child wanted to either go to the store or be with her mom badly enough that she snuck into the car and buckled herself in, but she didn't bother to hop out of the car once they got to the store?!?! Whatever! She obviously was told to stay put!

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