Mom accused of leaving baby in hot car while drinking at Mexican restaurant

VIDEO: Mom Accused of Leaving Baby in Hot Car While Drinking at Mexican Restaurant

ARLINGTON, Tenn. — A mother is accused of leaving her baby inside an unattended car in the summer heat while she went into a restaurant for a drink, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Fox13Memphis.

Authorities on Tuesday arrested Rachel Vanwagner, 26, on one count of child abuse and neglect after the incident on June 24.

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Police were called to a restaurant on Highway 70 in Arlington after two people walking in the parking lot heard a baby crying, officials said. They saw a baby in the backseat of a car that was not running, according to the affidavit.

Police said that when they arrived, they found the baby in the car with locked doors and the windows partially opened.

It was 92 degrees outside at the time.

Officers removed the baby from the car and provided medical treatment. A woman, later identified as Vanwagner, then ran out of restaurant with no shoes on and told police the baby was hers and that she had been inside for 30 minutes for one “drink,” according to police documents.

Police said Vanwagner was aware she left the child inside the car with the engine turned off.

Vanwagner refused to give any further statement, according to the affidavit of complaint. She was arrested, and the child was given to a family member.