Laquanda Newby was charged on May 26 with leaving her children alone in a car while she shopped at a local Sam's Club, WTVR reported. Police found Newby by her car, but since the officer didn't witness the crime, he swore out a warrant with the understanding that Newby would turn herself in.
While Newby was being booked, police received a call from a concerned citizen about two kids, a one-year-old and a six-year-old, sweltering in a parked car at the Henrico County Courthouse. They were Newby's children, again sitting in a car with the windows rolled up in 90-degree weather.
Police brought the sweat-soaked children inside and gave them water and snacks. The children were released into the care of their father. Police added two more counts of child endangerment to Newby's previous one. The judge denied bailed.
Leaving children in cars is extremely dangerous. Children's bodies heat up faster and are less efficient at cooling down than an adult's body. Car seats are also made up of polyester and padding, materials that retain heat.
A child dies every nine days in the US after being left too long in a hot car, according to the advocacy group Kids And Cars and on average 38 children die every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.