Woman arrested after leaving 3 children in car Tuesday afternoon

A 26-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday after she left her three children – the youngest was 1 year old – unattended in a car without air conditioning for an extended period when the heat index was 110, Wichita police said.

A bystander noticed the children in a car with windows rolled down in the parking lot of a strip mall at 1530 S. Oliver at about 2:15 p.m., Lt. Doug Nolte said. The mother went into a business and left her children – a 6-year-old girl and boys ages 3 and 1 –alone in the car.

When the woman did not return for at least seven minutes, Nolte said, the bystander called 911. The woman came out of the business after officers arrived.

She was arrested and the children placed in the care of an uncle.

Leaving children unattended in such circumstances was “an extremely poor decision” by that parent, Nolte said.

The children could have placed the vehicle into gear, they could have been overcome by the heat or they could have been kidnapped by a passing stranger, he said

The temperature reached 107 in Wichita on Tuesday, making it the hottest day of the year in the city.