Mother accused of leaving toddler in hot car while she shopped at Walmart

A young mother was arrested for going shopping and leaving her child in the parking lot in a parked car -- in the Arizona summer heat.

All the warnings, all the publicity -- don't leave your child in a hot car. Now that mother is facing child endangerment and child abuse-negligence charges.

20-year-old Mikayla Peer made her initial court appearance in the 4th Avenue Jail on Monday.

Police say she went shopping at Walmart on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. with her 2-year-old daughter in a car seat in the back of her vehicle. Peer went into the store and left the child in the hot car.

Authorities estimate the little girl was in the car up to 8 minutes at temperatures that approached 108° degrees.

Someone walking by saw the child locked in the car and called the police. Officers smashed the driver's side window and rescued the little girl. They say she's okay, but this case could have taken a tragic turn.

"Hot cars can kill. It only takes a few moments for temps inside a vehicle to heat to critical conditions," said SPD's Sgt. Norman Owens.

We talked to shoppers in the area and they can't understand how anyone could leave a child in a locked car with the windows up.

"If your child is in back there, that is a death warrant. You take your wallet, your cell phone.. include your kid in that list," said Luis Feliciano.

Another shopper, Pam Bishop, added "Don't leave your kids in the car. It is too hot. Even two minutes gets 117° degrees.. shouldn't leave your kids in the car unattended."

The Arizona Department of Child Safety says Peer was named as a member of a household in an earlier ongoing case reported to DCS, which is still under review. That case is not connected to the incident involving Peer's daughter locked in the parked car over the weekend.