Woman accused of leaving son in parked car while drunk
BATON ROUGE - Sheriff's deputies in East Baton Rouge Parish arrested a woman accused of leaving her 4-year-old son in a parking lot for several hours while she slept off the effects of alcohol inside the family's apartment.
Kelly Jefferson, 29, was booked into the parish prison on charges of criminal abandonment, speeding and driving with a suspended driver's license after deputies responded to her apartment on Sunday. Deputies were summoned to her residence after a neighbor found the woman's 4-year-old son wandering around the parking lot of the apartment complex by himself.
The child told investigators that his mother had placed him in the family car, but he got out of the vehicle when she went back to the apartment and did not return. The neighbor who found the unattended child knocked on the apartment door, but did not receive a response. The child's father was contacted via cell phone, but he was away on military duty in Pineville, Louisiana.
When deputies managed to make contact with Jefferson, they said she appeared to have been drinking and smelled strongly of alcohol. She told law enforcement that the child may have left the apartment while she was sleeping, but she was unaware that he had left their residence. Jefferson later told detectives that she may have left her son in the car after returning home from her parent's residence earlier that day. Deputies found the car's engine to be cool to the touch, and noted that if this was the case, the vehicle had not been moved for several hours.
Child Protective Services was notified and the boy was placed into the custody of his grandmother while Jefferson was booked into EBR Parish Prison.