A Council Bluffs woman is charged with child endangerment after allegedly leaving her infant daughter in a hot van at a shopping mall. Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says a citizen reported the incident to deputies around 7:20 Monday evening.
The deputies investigated and found a child in a van in the parking lot of a Super Saver Store. The van’s windows were rolled down slightly and one of the doors was unlocked.
The deputies took the child out of the vehicle. Danker said the child was crying, upset and sweating. The 9-month-old girl was in the van for 25-to-30 minutes.
The outside temperature at the time was 86-degrees. Danker says deputies placed the child in an air-conditioned patrol car. Danker says the child’s mother came out of a store and spoke with the deputies. He says she was visibly upset.
When asked why she left the baby in the van, the woman told deputies she forgot the child when she went to get some money and food for her supper. Deputies learned she has four other children.
Thirty-year old Tiffany Tunney remains jailed on a $5,000 bond. The child did not require medical attention, but Danker says there was the “real potential” for medical problems related to the heat. The girl was placed in temporary protective custody.
The sheriff says people need to use common sense with regard to children and animals being left in vehicles during the sweltering summer heat. “You just can’t leave them in a vehicle,” but make sure children are either taken into the store if you are shopping or in some one else’s care in an air-conditioned location.
Forecasters say temperatures tomorrow statewide are expected to hit the upper 90s and perhaps even 100-degrees, with heat indices well into the triple-digits.
By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic