Deputy rescues 10-month-old left alone in hot vehicle; mother charged

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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — A deputy rescued a 10-month-old who was left unattended in a hot car in southeast Shelby County on Sunday afternoon, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office said.

The deputy was near the Dollar Tree in the 7900 block of East Shelby Drive when he was approached by a shopper who spotted the child in the vehicle.

Police say the child's mother, 19-year-old Janeth Lemus, was in the store from anywhere between five to 20 minutes. The engine wasn't running in the vehicle.

"At the time this incident occurred it was 91 degrees outside," Lieutenant Anthony Buckner said.

Despite the scorching hot temperatures the baby is doing okay and has been released into the care of a family member.

Shoppers tell us they can't believe incidents like this are still happening after so many reports of children dying from heat exhaustion. And although temperatures will begin to cool down, officers say they want parents to understand the importance of child safety.

They incidents like this should be an example.

"What made this a successful rescue. We had a vigilant citizen and a quick-thinking, fast-acting deputy," Lt. Buckner said.

Lemus was arrested and charged with child abuse.

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