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Local

Morris police: Woman arrested after leaving 1-year-old unattended in car

Kemela Harding
Kemela Harding

MORRIS – A Round Lake woman was arrested Friday after allegedly leaving a 1-year-old child inside of a car while shopping at Jewel-Osco, police said.

At 6:40 p.m., police responded to the grocery store at 1414 N. Division St. after receiving a report of a child left alone in a vehicle. When an officer arrived, police said, they found a 1-year-old girl inside of the car with the windows rolled up, and they unlocked the vehicle to retrieve her.

The officer was on the scene for seven minutes before Kemela Harding, 37, came out of Jewel-Osco, Morris Deputy Police Chief Chad Skelton said. Skelton said he’s uncertain whether Harding is the girl’s mother, but knew she was her caretaker.

Skelton said the police haven’t determined how long Harding left the girl in the car, but that it was for at least 10 minutes. Police are reviewing surveillance footage from the store’s parking lot, he said.

Harding was charged by police with endangering the welfare of a child and booked into the Grundy County Jail on Friday. She posted a $150 bond the same evening and was released.

The girl was in good health and uninjured, Skelton said. She was taken into protective custody and then turned over to a relative.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services was contacted and are investigating the incident, he said.

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