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Police: Mom left 6-month-old in vehicle at community college parking lot

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A young woman is facing serious charges after allegedly leaving a baby in a vehicle in the Southwest Tennessee Community College parking lot.

Police say Jameika Cooks is charged with aggravated child abuse after a campus police officer found her child in her car alone.

According to police, they were called to the Macon Cove campus last week after someone noticed the 6-month-old alone in the car. The vehicle was turned off and locked.

In the back seat, the infant was partially covered with a blanket and had a black string tied around its neck, which was attached to a pacifier.

Cooks was located by campus police inside a classroom.

She was escorted back to her car and taken into custody.

Debra Futch is a Southwest student with step-kids who are all grown.

"I wouldn't have tried to go to class with my kids. They would have come in with me to see if the teacher would tolerate it. If not, I would have to miss the class," Futch said.

Futch says she is just thankful it wasn't a hot day.

"Classes go for at least an hour, at most three hours. So depending if she's a day or night student, the baby definitely wouldn't have been alive if it was a summer day," she said.

Futch says this was no accident. "You just don't forget stuff like that."

She's all for higher education, but can't believe these allegations.

"You're doing it for your kids, but you can't sacrifice your kids just to accomplish your degree. That's just ridiculous,"

Cooks is charged with leaving a child unattended in a vehicle and aggravated child abuse-neglect.