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Child left in hot car while woman shopped at Dollar General, police say

Temperature in car topped 100 degrees

SOUTH DAYTONA, Fla. – A 5-year-old boy was left inside a car that topped 100 degrees for nearly half an hour while his mother shopped in a Dollar General store Friday afternoon, according to the South Daytona Police Department.

Police were called to a Dollar General on Ridgewood Avenue, and they said they found the child alone in the front seat of a blue Hyundai, sweating profusely. The front driver side window was down and a back window was cracked, but the other two windows were up and the vehicle was locked, police said.

The temperature inside the vehicle was 107 degrees, according to the arrest report. The boy's vitals were checked and first responders determined he was OK.

Colleen Walker, 30, walked outside of the store to the parking lot and told police that she was only inside for 12 minutes and she left the 5-year-old boy alone because he wanted to talk on the phone, the report said. She had her 3-year-old daughter in the store with her, according to police.

Police said surveillance video showed that Walker was in the store for 28 minutes, browsing the aisles.

Walker was arrested on a child neglect charge.

News 6 waited for her outside the Volusia County Jail Friday after she bonded out.

"People need to mind their own (expletive) business. That's my side of the story," she said.

Police also noted that Walker had two children with her, but only had one car seat in her vehicle, according to the report.

The Department of Children and Families told News 6 they are investigating.

Spokesman John Harrell called the allegations against Walker "inhumane," and he said DCF will be checking to see if there are any more safety concerns with the family.

He urged anyone who sees a child inside a car with the engine turned off and the windows rolled up to call 911 immediately.


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