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‘Most terrifying thing:’ Mother, another woman arrested after infant locked in hot car at Arkansas market

PEA RIDGE, Ark. — A mother and another female were arrested after leaving an unsupervised infant locked inside a hot car without air conditioning on Sunday, Aug. 11, at a Neighborhood Market in Pea Ridge, Arkansas, according to Pea Ridge Police Chief Lynn Hahn.

Around 2:30 p.m., police received a call regarding the child locked in the hot car.

Prior to first responders arriving, a group of concerned bystanders broke the window of the car, and started working to cool down the infant, Hahn said.

“He was really hot,” said Michelle Holt. “He had glass all over him, but he wasn’t crying.”

Michelle and her husband, Nathaniel Holt, said they helped remove the baby from the car. Nathaniel used a brick from inside of his vehicle to break the car’s glass.

“He was foaming at the mouth, and he was spitting, and I just kept telling him that he was really strong, and just to stay awake,” Michelle Holt said.

The Holts said they took the baby inside the store by the deli, in hopes of trying to cool him down.

They waited for first responders to arrive.

“The whole time I was wondering, ‘Where is his mom? Is his mom going to show up?’ She never did,” Michelle Holt said.

Officers found the mother and her friend inside the store, and said they claimed to have forgotten the baby in the back seat.

“I’m just glad he’s OK, because as I was holding him, I didn’t know, and it was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever been through,” Michelle Holt said.

Lt. Michael Lisenbee with the Pea Ridge Police Department called the Holts heroes.

“The people that busted out that window to get the kid out of the car saved the kid’s life,” he said.

The child was transported to the hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.

Karlee Spear, 21, and Ashlee Danley,26, of Seligman, Missouri, were arrested for allegedly leaving the infant in the car unsupervised for 45 minutes. Spear, the child’s mother, told police they traveled to the Pea Ridge Neighborhood Market knowing the child was in the car. Both women then told police once they got to the Neighborhood Market, they forgot the child was in the back seat and entered the store to go grocery shopping.

Following an investigation, officers determined the two women would be arrested for endangering the welfare of a minor. Both were transported to jail, awaiting a bond hearing.

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