Bijoux Irankunda cried at her first court hearing, she is accused of child abuse after she left her 2-year-old sister in a hot car at Christown Mall last June. It was 106 degree outside when the incident happened.
"But I could never hurt my little sister, I raised her," said Bijoux Irankunda.
Police say people walking through the parking lot heard the 2-year-old crying in the car and called 9-1-1. The little girl was rescued before she was seriously hurt. Her temperature was 100 degrees.
Investigators believe she may have been in the car for 5-10 minutes. Police say Irankunda told them she left her sister in the car while she went to Ross with a friend to buy swimsuits.
Since the incident Irankunda and her family moved to Texas. She was arrested in Texas on a local warrant and extradited to Arizona. The judge released her without bond, but was told she cannot have any contact with her little sister.
"The main problem that you're going to have is you can't live with and have contact with your little sister, because she is the alleged victim in a criminal case. Do you think your mom might be able to find you somewhere else to stay, like a friends house?" asked the judge.
"Yes," replied Irankunda.
Investigators say Irankunda told them she left her sister in the car because she was sleeping and screams when she is woken up.