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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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Larose mother arrested after leaving child in locked car

Larose mother arrested after leaving child in locked car

HOUMA, La. (AP) - Police say a 27-year-old Larose mother was arrested earlier in the week after she left her toddler alone inside a locked car.

Houma Police Chief Todd Duplantis tells The Houma Courier that Cara Dubois left her 21-month-old son in the car about noon Monday outside a supermarket on Grand Caillou Road.

Duplantis said a passer-by spotted the child and alerted authorities. He says Dubois emerged from the store about the same time and unlocked the car.

The chief says Dubois told officers that she left the child inside the car with the engine running and went inside the store to buy cigarettes and pay a bill. He says officers later determined that the car engine automatically shuts off after sitting idle for 10 minutes.

The outside temperature was about 91 degrees at that time. Studies say, in that heat, the car's interior would have reached 109 degrees in 10 minutes and 119 in 20 minutes.

The child was in good health and released to the custody of his father, Duplantis said.
Dubois was booked with child desertion. She faces jail time of up to six months and fines of up to $500 if convicted.

It was unclear whether she has an attorney.

Caregivers who leave a young child unattended could face a child desertion charge. State law describes "unattended" as "a child who has been left in a motor vehicle when the driver or operator of the vehicle is more than 10 feet from the vehicle and unable to continuously observe the child."

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