3-year-old rescued from hot car by Lake Wales PD

A little girl's father and grandmother have been arrested after leaving her in a hot car on Thursday.

It happened in the parking lot of a Walmart on State Road 60, just east of town. Investigators say, when Timothy Adams, 28, and his mother, Anna Adams, 57, went into the store, they took Timothy's 6-year-old daughter with them.

Detectives say the Adams left the man's 3-year-old daughter behind. They say the girls were sitting next to each other in the back seat.

It was just before 4 p.m. Wednesday, and the temperature outside was 86°, but felt like the mid 90s. Detectives think she was in the car for about 20 minutes before another shopper walked by, noticed her and called police.

When Officer Matt Rhoden Sgt. Bruce Yoxall arrived, they saw the back window of the Honda Element was cracked. Rhoden then broke out the front passenger window and Yoxall removed the little girl from the car.

"The child was hot, sweaty. The face, red," said Lake Wales Police Lt. David Black. "As soon as the Sgt. grabbed her and pulled her out of the car, she just wrapped her arms around him, and laid her head on his shoulder and quit crying."

When questioned, the Adams said it was an accident. Each one said they thought the other had the child. Police say store surveillance video tells another story.

According to the video, all the windows were closed tight when they pulled into the parking lot. When the two went into the store, the back windows had been cracked open a little bit. The video also shows the girl's grandmother repeatedly looking back at the car as she walked away.

"Which leads a reasonable person to believe that she knew the child was still in the vehicle," said Black.

The girl was transported to Lake Wales Medical Center as a precaution but will be OK. Both adults are charged with child neglect.

The Department of Children and Families was notified to locate a safe place for the children.