SURPRISE, AZ — A woman is accused of leaving her 7-year-old and 5-month-old children in her unlocked and running car while she shopped.
Surprise police report that Wednesday night they responded to a business parking lot near Grand and Thunderbird avenues for a report of children left in a car.
Several citizens contacted police after seeing the children in the car for about 45 minutes.
When police arrived, there was one child in the car, a 5-month-old boy who was unbuckled and "upside down and face down in his car seat." Police say the vehicle was running with the door unlocked and the air-conditioning running.
Police removed the baby and entered the Rue 21 store and found the mother, Morgan Elizabeth Dowse, 25, looking at clothes. Dowse reportedly became upset when she saw an officer holding her son.
Her 7-year-old son was also in the store with her after being left in the car.
Dowse reportedly told police that she was going into the store for just a moment to make an exchange, but got distracted by the discounts and talking with her son's teacher, who she spotted in the store.
Dowse allegedly admitted she should not have left her children unattended in the car.
She was arrested for two counts of child abuse.
If you suspect a child is being abused, the Arizona Department of Child Services has resources available to report the issue to a social worker. You can call the Arizona Child Abuse Hotline at 1-888-SOS-CHILD (1-888-767-2445), and will be asked for information about the child, as well as the nature of your concerns. You can also get more information from DCS about reporting abuse or neglect online.