ANDERSON, Ind. – A pregnant Indiana woman is accused of leaving five children in a running vehicle while she went inside a medical center for an appointment, authorities said Wednesday.
Chessany Marie Robbins, 23, of Anderson, was charged with five counts of Level 6 felony neglect of a dependent, according to Madison County Sheriff’s Office online booking records.
According to an affidavit of probable cause written by Anderson Police Department Officer Gordon Corner, authorities conducted a welfare check Monday afternoon after receiving a report about several children unattended in a vehicle, the The Herald Bulletin of Anderson reported.
Corner said he found a white minivan parked in a side lot that contained five children, the newspaper reported. The oldest child was 8 years old, Corner wrote in the affidavit.
According to Corner, the child told him her sister, Robbins, was inside the building at a doctor’s appointment for an ultrasound, The Herald Bulletin reported.
Surveillance cameras showed that the children were unattended for nearly 40 minutes, WXIN reported.
The vehicle was unlocked and running, and the air conditioner was turned on to a low level, Corner wrote in the affidavit. However, the officer noted that the air coming through the vents was warm.
Corner said the temperature was 74 degrees outside and humidity was at 84% when he found the children, according to The Herald Bulletin.
According to the affidavit, a boy inside the minivan was naked, and a 1-year-old was not properly secured in a car seat, the newspaper reported.
“I observed what appeared to be fresh vomit on the front passenger seat and in the rear passenger area of the vehicle,” Corner wrote in the affidavit.
Robbins told police three of the children inside the van were hers, while the other two were her stepmother’s, WXIN reported. According to the police affidavit, Robbins said she believed the children would be OK with the oldest child while she went to her appointment, the television station reported.
“I can’t imagine being left in there for 40 minutes, whether the engine was on or off, it was a miserable environment in that vehicle,” Madison County prosecutor Rodney Cummings told WXIN.
Corner said he spoke with the mother of the other two children, The Herald Bulletin reported. The woman told him she believed Robbins was taking her children to a grandmother’s home to get money.
“She said she would’ve never allowed them to remain in an unattended vehicle, especially in the area it was in,” Corner wrote in his affidavit.