Newport News mom charged with child neglect after 1-year-old son found in car

Posted at 11:57 AM, Dec 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-09 17:45:33-05

Newport News, Va. - A Newport News woman has been charged with child neglect after police say her 1-year-old child was found inside of a vehicle in a Kohl's parking lot.

Police responded to the Kohl's parking lot on Bland Blvd. on Friday for a child neglect call after a passerby saw a baby sitting in a car seat in the back of an unattended silver Honda at 11:05 a.m.

Police arrived, observed the child sleeping, and attempted to locate a parent.

According to a complaint affidavit filed in court, it was about 75 degrees outside at the time and the windows and been left cracked open.

The affidavit goes on to say that the store was paged twice for the owner of the car.  It was shortly after the second page, at 11:32 a.m., police say 29-year-old Ralitsa D. Saunders of the 100 block of Gum Grove Drive in Newport News walked out of the store approaching officers.

Police determined that Saunders was the owner of the vehicle and the child was her 1-year-old son. Saunders was taken into custody and charged with child neglect.

The child's father was called to the scene, and took custody of his son.

The child was not injured, police say.

According to the affidavit in court, when asked why she left him alone, Saunders told an officer she didn't want to wake him because he'd been sick.

Stay with NewsChannel 3 for updates as they are available.