Parents arrested in two cases of children found in cars in North GA
By WRCB Staff
DALTON, GA (WRCB) -
Three people are behind bars in two separate North Georgia cases after leaving children alone in cars.
In Dalton, a mother and father are facing charges of cruelty to children after apparently leaving their daughter in a hot car.
Brittany Wells and Franklin Jaynes were arrested Saturday at the Big D's Flea Market in Dalton.
A puppy was in the car with the 8-year old.
A stranger saw the little girl and flagged down a police officer.
The officer later found her parents who said they left the child in the car for only 3 minutes because she felt sick.
But when emergency crews arrived they found the girl had a 101.7 temperature and that was after sitting in a cool patrol car for at least 10 minutes.
On Monday, Calhoun Police charged 55-year old Debra Lane with cruelty to children and reckless conduct.
"When it does happen the people tell us the same thing, I would have never thought I would have done this, I would have never thought this would have happened," said Lt. Tony Pyle, Calhoun Police Department
Lane is a foster parent in Calhoun and called 911 after realizing she left her two-year old daughter in the car for more than four hours.
"She pulled into her place of employment, went in, done a half of day's work, came back out to go to lunch and discovered the child," Lt. Pyle said.
Police say they investigate these calls on a case by case basis and not all parents are charged.
Their main concern is focused on the child's safety.
"It's going to go, did they do something to put the child in danger? Was it neglectful?" said Capt. Chris Cooke with the Dalton Police Department.
Police say there is not set amount of time a child has to be left along inside a hot car in order to charge the parents.
"You hate to put any kind of time frame on it you know, because a child could be in danger in 10 seconds, but also could not be in danger in five minutes, so there's no real time frame," said Capt. Cooke.
The two children involved in these recent cases, the eight-year-old from Dalton and two-year-old from Calhoun, survived are expected to make a full recovery.
Those children and their siblings are now in the care of the Department of Family and Child Services.
"If someone comes across a vehicle and sees a child in distress that they do whatever necessary to rescue this child," Lt. Pyle said.
Both Georgia and Tennessee have state laws that allow a person to smash a window or break into a car if a child is alone inside.