Police arrested a mother in Kentucky for leaving her baby and two toddlers in a car during extremely cold weather while she went shopping in Walmart on Jan. 2.
Broquel King, 28, left her three children, ages 4, 20 months and 6 months, in an unlocked vehicle that wasn't running during 15-degree weather, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The worried passerby alerted police after noticing the children in the car in the Walmart parking lot. The windows were rolled down slightly.
When they arrived, police called Emergency Medical Services because they were unsure how long the kids had been in the "brutal cold."
When their mother returned, King told authorities she had left them in the car for five minutes. But by that point, police had already been with the children for 20 minutes.
Police charged King with three counts of wanton endangerment, three counts of criminal abuse and one count of disorderly conduct.
"[The] suspect’s actions placed children in substantial danger of death or serious physical injury due to the extreme cold," a police officer wrote in the arrest report.
King was also charged with having a suspended license, no insurance and expired plates, and was held in Louisville Metro Corrections, reports The Epoch Times.
In September 2015, King was arrested for reckless driving.
King's actions quickly drew condemnation on the internet.
"Every day it's apparent there are a lot more people incapable of functioning than i ever thought possible," wrote one person in the Lexington Herald-Leader's comments section. "Things most of us just take for granted as common sense action toward obvious daily tasks. hopefully, the next iteration of humans, or whatever we become, continue to evolve for a longer period."
It's not the first time a parent left their child in a car during extreme temperatures.
A Colorado mother was sentenced to eight years in prison on Jan. 4 after she drunkenly left her 2-year-old son in a car overnight during freezing temperatures, reports KCNC.
During her sentencing, Nicole Carmon, 29, said she takes full responsibility for what she did.
"I am a good mom and I love my kids more than anything else in this world and I take full responsibility for what I did," she said. "I know I messed up. I can ... I can tell you right now if my son wasn’t here I wouldn’t be here, either. I would not have been able to live with myself."