SOUTHGATE, Mich. – A mother was arrested in the parking lot of a Southgate Sam's Club after her baby was found alone inside a car.
Shoppers discovered the baby in the car while temperatures were freezing. Officials said someone pulled up and noticed the child alone in the back seat and quickly called 911. It's believed the mother left her baby in chilly temperatures for at least an hour.
Police said the baby was alert when rescued from the car. The Sam's Club parking lot filled with officers.
"At that time, I thought it was a shoplifter," Kaitlyn Wolske said. "Nothing big."
But Wolske quickly discovered the commotion outside was more serious.
"As I approached the vehicle, I saw the baby in the back seat," she said.
Wolske said a mother had left her baby sitting in the car alone, so she started recording on her cellphone as the officers found the woman.
"How do you forget your baby?" she asked the mother.
The mother said that she didn't forget her baby.
"It doesn't matter," Wolske said. "Are you serious? That's your baby, whether she's sleeping or not. What's wrong with you?"
The mother told police officers that the child was asleep when she arrived at Sam's Club, so rather than wake her up, she left the baby in the car.
"If I go to the store and my daughter's sleeping, I'm sorry, you either have to wake up or we're going back home," Wolske said. "I'm not going to say, 'Hey, I'll leave you in the car.'"
Police handcuffed and detained the mother, and Wolske said the woman's demeanor changed.
"She wasn't crying because she was remorseful," Wolske said. "She started crying only when they arrested her."
Wednesday's temperature was just 32 degrees. It's believed the mother left the child for just over an hour in the cold.
"There are so many what-ifs," Wolske said. "Let's be grateful none of them happened."