The mother accused of leaving her toddler in the car while she went inside a Lowe’s store was arrested Thursday, thanks in part to witnesses who quickly alerted police.
“Without the witnesses, we wouldn’t have a case,” Sandy Springs police Sgt. Ron Momon told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Witnesses called police Sunday afternoon after seeing a young girl crying inside a locked car, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. The child’s mother, later identified as Melissa Mae Jackson, left the store before police arrived, but was contacted Thursday by detectives and surrendered.
Jackson, 39, of Marietta, was charged with reckless conduct, Momon said. She was being questioned Thursday afternoon.
A couple, Amanda and Christopher Stanzione, saw the girl as they were leaving the Lowe’s, according to police.
“The little girl had tears running down her face,” Amanda Stanzione told Channel 2 Action News on Monday. “I don’t know really if it was tears or just sweat, because she was sweating profusely.”
The Stanziones called 911 and went back into the store to report the incident to a manager, according to police. The child’s mother was at the customer service counter and overhead the Stanziones, prompting her to get the girl from the car, the police report states.
Stanzione told police she confronted the girl’s mother, who said, “Don’t tell me how to parent,” the report states.
Witnesses were able to provide detectives with a tag number and description of the suspect, which assisted police with locating her, Momon said. The child was not injured, he said.
“We don’t believe she was in there a lengthy amount of time,” Momon said.
Per protocol, DFCS is also investigating, according to police.
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