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Woman left 2-year-old sleeping in car in store parking lot

Published On: Sep 23 2013 08:42:08 PM EDT

A woman is in trouble with the law after leaving a sleeping 2-year-old boy in her car with music playing and the windows down for half an hour in a mall parking lot, officials said.

Shahara T. Rivera told police she left the child "for five minutes" while she was exchanging merchandise at the Walmart at 3696 Nazareth Pike, Bethlehem Township, Northampton Co., around 2:30 p.m. Sunday, officials said.

Afte viewing store surveillance video, police determined Rivera was in the Walmart for about a half-hour, officials noted.


Rivera told police she left the child, who belonged to "a close family friend," because she did not want to wake him up, officials said.

The child's mother came to the store to pick him up, officials noted.

The child was noticed sleeping in a car seat in the rear right of Rivera's car by Maxine Bowen, whose car was parked next to Rivera's, officials said.

Bowen and two other witnesses, Adam and Dana Kinney, stayed with the young boy for 20 minutes before Bowen notified store security.

Rivera, 28, of 2134 Freemansburg Ave., Wilson, Northampton Co., was arraigned on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle and committed to the Northampton County Prison on $5,000 bail, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing is set for 9 a.m. Oct. 3.