MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Leimome Cheeks, 62, faced a judge Monday for the first time since she was arrested on child endangerment charges after video was spread online showing two children getting out of dog kennels in the back of her vehicle.
Her neighbors in Whitehaven say they haven't seen her since her face showed up in the video.
"I was watching the news and my husband was like, 'That is right next door.'"
That's how one neighbor says she learned Cheeks was accused of neglect.
"We were shocked. We were very shocked."
The video shows Cheeks taking children, who have been identified as her grandchildren, out of kennels from the back of her SUV.
The footage was taken by a concerned citizen in the area who was startled by the sight and recorded it in Saturday evening in the 3700 block of Elvis Presley Boulevard.
According to the affidavit, the children told police there was no room in the backseat so their grandmother told them to get inside of the dog cages.
Cheeks admitted that she drove while the children were in the kennels from Whitehaven to Collierville, which is a 35-minute drive.
The 7- and 8-year-old explained to officers how they were hot, because there were no vents in the back to keep them cool.
"There's no excuse at all," a neighbor said.
WREG tired to get Cheeks' side of the story, but no one seemed to be home.
We tried to reach the grandmother by phone but she still hasn't returned our call.
The neighbor we talked to says she doesn't know what the grandmother was thinking but says, as an adult, a different call should have been made.
"Why would you put your kids where animals have been? What about the smell?"
The grandmother has since bonded out of jail.