Police arrested a Colorado mother after she allegedly left her 2-year-old son in a car overnight Dec. 16 while the temperature outside plunged below zero.
“The car was blanketed with snow,” police spokesman Matt Barnes said, according to The Denver Post. “There was no way of seeing what was inside.”
Although the boy was reportedly left in the car for seven hours, police found him alive the next day, KDVR reports.
He was treated for hypothermia and frostbite.
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Police charged his mother, Nicole Carmon, 26, with felony child abuse.
Carmon had called the police, initially informing them she had been involved in a car accident and could not find her son anywhere, The Washington Post reports.
She said she did not remember where the accident occurred or how.
Officers say they were later alerted to a child's possible presence in a car late in the morning. Around noon, they found the 2-year-old inside.
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There were reportedly no signs of a car accident.
"I can't imagine staying in a car overnight," said Breanna Sanchez, who recalled finding the car covered in snow when she drove to work early in the morning. "I'm freezing just standing here."
Although Sanchez didn't see the child inside, she thought it was strange that the car had been there that long.
"We just saw a bunch of cop cars and a bunch of firemen and ambulance and stuff, and we didn't quite know what was going on but ... it's very upsetting," Sanchez said. "I feel terrible for the kid. I feel really bad that he sat there all night. Really, it's terrible."
Andrew Duran recalls finishing work at a nearby restaurant when he first saw the scene.
“We saw cops everywhere,” Duran said. “All of a sudden, you see cops pull out this kid.”
Police said they were investigating why the mother allegedly left her child in the car.