Mother accused of leaving infant daughter alone in car at Ocala liquor store

Off-duty Marion County deputies discover baby after hearing cries

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Bethany Douglas.

OCALA, Fla. - A 28-year-old woman was arrested in Ocala on allegations of leaving her infant daughter alone in a vehicle at a liquor store.

Bethany Davis was arrested Wednesday night on charges of child neglect, and her 4-month-old child was placed into the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

According to Ocala police, around 8:30 p.m. a deputy was called to ABC Liquor at 2595 SW College Road because a child was left unattended in a vehicle.

Police said two witnesses, identified as off-duty Marion County deputies, heard the infant crying and found her alone in the backseat of a vehicle in the parking lot of the store.

The deputies said they waited at the car for 16 minutes before the infant's mother exited the liquor store, according to police.  It's not known, however, how long the baby girl was left unattended before the witnesses found her.

Police said when the mother, later identified as Douglas, was confronted by one of the off-duty deputies, she was uncooperative and said, "You can't do anything, you're off duty." 

Douglas told an Ocala police officer that she had left her daughter in the vehicle because she didn't want to bring her into the liquor store.  She also said she thought it was OK because the weather was comfortable. 

Douglas was arrested and taken to the Marion County Jail.

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