A couple in Albuquerque, New Mexico has been arrested and charged with child abuse after allegedly leaving their 5-year-old daughter locked in a hot truck in 90-degree weather as punishment.
Angelica Lerma-Montoya and Dulces Monge-Perez were inside a Home Depot on Tuesday when passersby spotted the girl inside the vehicle in the parking lot, KOAT reports.
Sheena Mayorga described the girl as "screaming, sweating, unsure, and very scared," according to KOB. Mayorga, along with her fiancé and a friend, said the girl was attempting to get out of the truck via a rear sliding window.
After they called 911, the girl was taken to a hospital where she was treated for heat exhaustion. Police believe she had been inside the truck for about an hour. The parents came out of the store about 45 minutes after cops got to the scene, suggesting that if she hadn't crawled out, the girl would have been in the truck around two hours.
"You shouldn't leave kids, pets, anything in this type of heat without the car running. If you can't bring your children shopping with you, either don't go shopping or leave a responsible person with them at home," Albuquerque Police Lt. Eric Jordan told KOB.
The 5-year-old told police her parents locked her in the truck as punishment for not eating earlier that day. However, one of her five siblings, 19-year-old Anna Monge, says that her parents had no idea the girl was in the truck at all. According to Monge, her sister sometimes follows her parents and they don't notice she is with them.