Crime

London couple charged, allegedly left baby in car while dad got haircut

A London couple has been accused of leaving their 9-month-old daughter in a hot car while the father got a haircut.

Robert and Rachel Smallwood, both 19, were charged Monday with first-degree wanton endangerment and first-degree criminal abuse, said detective Stacy Anderkin of the London Police Department.

The incident happened at a shopping center on the Ky. 192 bypass about 2 p.m. Monday.

Two people were leaving a Kroger supermarket when they heard a baby crying in a car in the parking lot, Anderkin said.

The doors on the vehicle were not locked. The couple got the baby out and called 911.

The baby, who was in a car seat, had been left alone in the car for at least 20 minutes, Anderkin said.

One window on the vehicle was down about an inch, but the rest were up. The outside temperature was about 80, and it was humid, Anderkin said.

Temperatures inside enclosed vehicles get much hotter than the outside temperature.

The baby was red and sweating profusely but did not require medical treatment, Anderkin said.

Police had arrived by the time the baby's parents came out of a spa at the shopping center.

Robert Smallwood had been getting a haircut; Rachel Smallwood had gone inside to look at photos in magazines to pick out a style for him, Anderkin said.

The two couldn't explain why they'd left the baby in the car, the detective said.

"They didn't understand why it was such a big deal," Anderkin said.

Another five or 10 minutes in the hot car might have injured the baby, Anderkin said.

Robert and Rachel Smallwood were jailed.

Social-services workers placed the baby with a relative, Anderkin said.

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