Police: Child left in car during frigid temps as foster mother shopped

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by Sarah Heath / KMOV Staff | @sheath12

KMOV.com

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 21 at 11:02 PM

 (KMOV) --   A local mother is facing charges after police said she left her one-year-old child in nearly freezing temperatures in Fenton.

Marie Garza, 57, is facing child endangerment charges after she was accused of leaving her 1-year-old foster child in her vehicle without it running as she shopped at a Fenton Walmart.

Police say this happened on January 9 when it was 35 degrees outside. The child was left alone, sleeping in the car for approximately 10 minutes.

Several other people shopping noticed the child in the car and called authorities. Officers arrived and had to track down Garza who was still inside the store.

According to authorities, Garza is a first-time foster parent. Since this incident, the child has been taken away from Garza.

"It doesn't take long for the temperature inside a vehicle to drop when it's this cold. Even in the summer time people run inside momentarily and it doesn't take long for the heat to build up in that vehicle. It's inappropriate and inexcusable,” said Shanna Bahr with the St. Louis County Police Department.

Garza was not arrested but did receive a summons to appear in court on February 10. 

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