Rhode Island parents accused of leaving toddler alone in unheated car while shopping

CRANSTON, R.I. — A Rhode Island couple is facing charges after authorities said they left their toddler alone in a parked car with the heater turned off.

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According to WPRI and WLNE, the incident occurred shortly after 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of a Burlington Coat Factory store in Cranston. A passer-by heard screams and spotted the 14-month-old child unsupervised inside a parked, unlocked vehicle, Cranston police said.

Officers arrived and learned the toddler had been alone inside the car for a half-hour, the news outlets reported. The vehicle’s heater was not running, authorities said.

Police arrested Providence residents Marvin Bastien, 35, and Tatiana Lowrie, 21, on child cruelty or neglect charges in connection with the case, according to the news outlets. The suspects are the toddler’s parents, police said.

The toddler is now in the care of the Department of Children, Youth and Families, WPRI and WLNE reported.

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