Bradley County mother arrested for leaving kid in car - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Bradley County mother arrested for leaving kid in car


CLEVELAND, TN. (WRCB) - A Bradley County mother could face jail time for leaving her son locked in a car.

It took police more than a week to catch up to 21-year-old Kellie Veney. She's not been able to make her $3,000 bond.

Police say leaving her son alone in a hot car at Walmart, is a decision that could've killed him. They say they're just thankful some other shoppers noticed he was in there before it was too late.

It was a scary scene at the Cleveland Wal-Mart on Treasury Drive the Friday before last.

Caller: "We had a customer leave an infant in a vehicle."

Dispatcher: "Is the baby still in the vehicle?"

Caller: "Some of our managers got the child out, and the parent just came out to the vehicle."

Some shoppers said they heard a baby crying as they walked through the parking lot. They spotted Kellie Veney's 5-month-old baby boy alone in a car. They alerted Walmart workers who called police.

Caller: "They said the child was gasping for breathe and covered in sweat."

They say the car was off, but a cracked window allowed them to get in and get the boy. Police say they did the right thing.

"The baby could've died from heat exhaustion and different symptoms that he was having-- sweating and crying and being upset, also abduction," Cleveland Police Officer Evie West said.

Before police could get there, they say Kellie Veney and her grandmother came out of the store and took off with the boy.

Caller: "They're leaving right now."

Dispatcher: "What are they leaving in?"

Police finally caught up to her Monday and arrested her on a felony child neglect charge. Local moms we talked to say it's a bad parenting decision that deserves strict punishment.

"It's been way too hot. They've already proven there's kids that have died being left in the car," local mom Adriana Taylor says.

"They're too little to defend themselves or take care of themselves so that's what moms are for," local mom Marcie Tennant says.

Police say the boy was left alone for at least five to ten minutes, possibly longer, but say even one minute is too long. Temperatures were in the low 80s.

"The temperature inside the car are so much hotter than the outside and even if you're running in the store, if you want to leave your child in the car, take someone else with you," Officer West says.

Police say they're interviewing Kellie Veney and people who know her to try to determine if she's done this other times in past.

Veney remains in the Bradley County jail.

She's due in court October 2.

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