An Oklahoma couple may well have saved the life of a 1-year-old baby who left in a hot car in an Owasso Wal-Mart parking lot Tuesday.
In a videotaped interview with KJRH News (shown below), Chrysty Landsdowne said she and her boyfriend, Jedidiah Bizzell, were walking back to their car in the Walmart parking lot when they heard a faint noise coming from another vehicle.
“We walked past the van and it didn't quite sit right with me,” Lansdowne said. “I just said to Jay, ‘What was that sound?’”
She said the two of them peered in through the vehicle’s tinted windows and saw the child sitting in the car.
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“You imagine the baby is crying in the car because it is so hot, she wasn't crying at all,” Landsdowne said.
The two began trying all of the doors of the vehicle until they found an unlocked one and pulled the child out. Landsdowne said the child was covered with sweat and looked exhausted.
Paramedics arrived and quickly took the child to a nearby hospital.
Police arrived shortly after and stopped the child’s mother, Hannah Secondi, as she left the store.
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According to a police report obtained by the Owasso Reporter, Secondi, 38, said she had been in Walmart for about 45 minutes and had forgotten that the child was in the car.
The mother frantically asked officers if her baby had died in the car, according to KJRH.
The outside temperature was around 95 degrees when the child was found. A firefighter at the scene reportedly told police that the temperature inside the car would have reached as high as 138 degrees within 10 minutes of the door being closed.
The child’s internal temperature reportedly reached over 100 degrees.
Jenny Rollins, a child passenger safety advocate for Safe Kids Tulsa, told the Reporter that children can be susceptible to heatstroke within minutes of the doors being closed on a hot car.
Rollins said it is an accident that can easily be prevented. Safe Kids Tulsa recommends parents leave a necessary item such as a purse, a cellphone, or even a pair of shoes next to the child’s car seat so the child can’t be forgotten.
Secondi was booked into the Tulsa County Jail Tuesday evening on a single child abuse complaint. She was released Thursday on $50,000 bond, according to the jail’s website.
The child was released from the hospital Wednesday morning into the father’s custody.
Landsdowne and Bizzell said they didn’t consider themselves heroes for finding the child.
“We are just happy we were able to get her out,” Bizzell said.