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Shopper Charged With Child Neglect After Baby Left In Hot Car

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Leah Nicole Grentzer.

Leah Nicole Grentzer.

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Updated 08/28/13 – 9:50 p.m

SCHERERVILLE, Ind. (CBS) — A mother has been charged with child neglect after her baby was unattended in her van after she left to shop for groceries, police said.

Police were called to the parking lot of the Strack and Van Til grocery, 1515 Indianapolis Blvd., in Schererville, after a caller told police an infant had been left inside a vehicle.

Officers were able to get inside the van though an unlocked door and placed the 1-year-old girl in their squad car until paramedics arrived.

Officers estimated the heat inside the van was in excess of 100 degrees, according to a news release from Schererville police.

Leah Nicole Grentzer, 34 of Schererville was charged with felony neglect of a dependent. The incident occurred on Aug. 18.

When paramedics arrived, they immediately transported the child to the hospital because they were unable to locate the child’s parent.

Shortly after, Grentzer came out of the store and stated that she had forgotten that her daughter was inside the van when she went inside.

Officer Bertossi says he only located the mini-van by listening.

“What brought me to that vehicle was a screaming baby. The child was very hot, very sweaty, very very red skin,” said Bertossi.

Grentzner told CBS 2 it was a miscommunication with her daughter and that she never knew her baby was in the car.

“It’s easy to forget and in my case I didn’t forget. I honestly did not know she was in the van,” said Grentzner.

“If I could take it back I would. My entire family, my whole life has been torn apart. My baby has been my entire life from the day she was born and I just want to know who it was that heard her cry.”

She says she hopes someone learns from her mistake. The responding officer told us, the mom seemed genuinely sorry and shocked. He added in a matter of minutes this could have had a different outcome.

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