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Florida woman accused of leaving 3-year-old in car while she worked at mall

Tanisha Williams arrested at Orlando International Premium Outlets

Tanisha Williams.
Tanisha Williams.


ORLANDO, Fla. – A 21-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday in Orlando on allegations of leaving her 3-year-old alone inside a car while she worked.

Tanisha Williams was arrested outside the Orlando International Premium Outlets on International Drive.

According to Orlando police, a man parked outside the Saks Fifth Avenue store around 6 p.m.  and heard a faint crying sound as he was getting something out of his trunk.

The man noticed a child alone in a red Chevrolet Malibu that was turned off and had all the windows rolled up, police said.  He convinced the child to roll down a window and said the child was sweaty and agitated, according to police.

After waiting 10 minutes for a parent or guardian to show up, the man alerted security, who called police, officials said.

Security reviewed video, which showed a woman getting out of the vehicle just before 4 p.m. and walking away, police said.

Around 6:30 p.m., according to police, a woman who matched the description of the one seen on video was spotted on a sidewalk talking on her phone.  An officer approached her, and she said she was waiting for her ride, police said.

The officer then walked the woman, identified as Williams, to the car, where her child was waiting with a security officer, police said.

Williams, who worked at a store in the outlet mall, initially said a friend was supposed to be watching her daughter but changed her story after she was told that she was captured on video getting out of the car, according to police.  Williams then admitted that she had no one to watch her child while she worked her shift, so she left her alone in the car, police said.

The child was not harmed, police said.  It's not known who was given custody of the girl.

Williams was arrested on charges of child neglect and was taken to jail.