Authorities arrested an Ohio baby sitter and her fiance after children were spotted in the back of a U-Haul truck the couple were driving.
After a city worker saw the kids in the back of truck at a gas station alongside the female suspect, 25-year-old Jamie Adkins, the worker quickly alerted authorities, reports Cleveland.com.
"There was no way he was going to let that truck leave with the kids in the back of it," said the worker, who also stopped the driver -- 55-year-old Brian Dekam -- from leaving the station, Tribune Media Wire reports.
When police arrived, they found four children between the ages of 2 and 6, as well as one 15-year-old.
"These kids were definitely in need of medical care," Elyria police Capt. Christopher Costantino recalls. "The back of a U-Haul is not designed for transport for kids."
"[They were] all wet from sweating so much from the heat of being in the back of the truck," he added, The Chronicle reports. "You just felt horrible for these kids."
The 2-year-old was treated for heat exhaustion before being hospitalized for treatment. The other children were also sent to the hospital, where it was discovered they had bed bugs, lice and fleas on them.
Adkins had been baby-sitting all four children for two weeks. They had not seen their mother at all while in her care.
Adkins told police their mother, Kimberly Hull, knew how they were being transported to the flea market she was taking them to.
"Sounds fun, hope the kids have fun," she allegedly told Adkins, who adds she loves being around the kids as she can't have children of her own.
The baby sitter now faces four counts of endangering children, while Dekam is charged with five.
Cuyahoga County Children Family Services is now taking care of the children.
Police praised the city worker who saw the children.
"The guy that is the hero of everything is the city worker who noticed the kids in the back of this U-Haul and positioned himself so they couldn’t leave," Costantino said. "Thank goodness he did this because the 2-year-old was definitely in need of medical attention. Kudos to him for seeing something that didn’t look right and getting involved."
Social media users also expressed gratitude to the individual.
"Thank God the worker found them like this!!" wrote one reader of The Chronicle-Telegram.
"Clearly these two have some mental issues, thank God this gentleman chose to get involved," added another.
One also expressed disgust towards the couple.
"Wow these 2 look like a MESS!" the reader commented. "This makes my stomach hurt!"
Sources: Cleveland.com, Tribune Media Wire via WGHP, The Chronicle-Telegram / Featured Image: Bull-Doser/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: ElyriaPolice Department via WKYC, Elyria Police Department via Tribune Media Wire/WGHP