Texas Mom Arrested After Leaving 3 Kids — Ages 4, 2 and 1 Month — in Hot Car While Shopping

The woman was reportedly charged with three counts of child endangerment and was released on bond

<p>Getty </p> Stock photo of car in heat


Stock photo of car in heat

A mother in San Antonio, Texas, was arrested and charged with three counts of child endangerment after a woman noticed her three children in a hot car while she was shopping.

Angela Garza–Amador was taken into custody on June 28 after the San Antonio Police Department said she left her kids — aged 4, 2 and 1 month — alone while she shopped for nearly an hour, outlets including local CBS affliate KENS 5, local NBC affiliate WOAI and CNN reported.

Speaking to KENS 5 in a separate report, the woman who discovered the children and filmed some of the incident after she had gotten help, said it happened at around 2 p.m. local time, when she noticed the 4-year-old boy in a car next to her in the parking lot for a shopping center.

As she told the outlet, she saw the vehicle was off and spotted a 2-year-old girl in the car as well. She then opened the front door of the car, which was unlocked, before running inside the store to get help, including calling 911.

“The boy, he was really sweating profusely, and you know, was crying,” she told KENS. “It seemed like he was grasping for air to me, like they were already on that verge.”

A group of people eventually got the kids out of the car, and they discovered the 1-month-old baby as well. The woman told KENS 5 that the mother then exited the store as police arrived. “She had the keys with her, she said the car was on, she said, 'I left it on with my esposo, my esposo,' ” she told the outlet of the children's mother.

The San Antonio Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for more information on Saturday.

Related: Prevent Hot-Car Deaths: A Checklist for Parents

As KENS 5 noted, it was 97 degrees at the time the kids were found and left in the vehicle for nearly an hour. CNN also spoke with authorities, who confirmed the time the children had been in the car.

“The mother of the children was at the scene and stated she went inside a store and did not realize how long she was gone,” police told CNN. “Based on information gathered, the children were in the car for approximately 50 minutes.”

Garza-Amador was arrested and charged with three counts of abandoning/endangering a child, per CNN, with a preliminary police report revealing that all three children were expected to be discharged from a local hospital the same day.

“While details of investigations are confidential according to law, I can confirm there was no open case regarding this family when the report of this incident came in,” a Texas Department of Family and Protective Services spokesperson told the outlet. “The children were not placed in CPS care and were placed in the care of family.”

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The woman who spotted the children in the car, whose identity remains anonymous, recorded her encounter with the kids and shared the footage with KENS. In the video, the eldest boy could be seen heavily breathing and coughing as the good samaritan asked him if he needed water, before other bystanders stepped in to assist.

“I live across town, I hadn’t been there to that store I was going to in ten years. I feel that God literally sent me over there for those kids," the woman said. “I pray that they get the help that they need and her too, that she learns from this."

Garza-Amador has reportedly since been released on bond according to WOAI, with the bond set to $25,000.

Related: What to Know About Hot Car Deaths and How to Avoid Them

Her arrest came days after a North Carolina mother was arrested and charged when her 8-year-old daughter died after she was "left in a vehicle in hot weather conditions."

Nonprofit Kids and Car Safety reported at the time that there had been five confirmed hot car death this year in the U.S. Since then, that number has raised to seven following the deaths of children in Georgia and Houston, Texas.

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