Eden woman accused of leaving children unattended in car at Walmart

EDEN, N.C. -- An Eden woman was arrested Monday night after leaving her children unattended in a car for about 25 minutes, according to a news release from Eden police.

Heather Renee Wilson

At 7:50 p.m., Eden police responded to the Eden Walmart parking lot and found an 8-year-old and a 2-year-old alone in the vehicle.

Both children were evaluated at UNC Rockingham Health Care for possible heat exposure. Officials believe that the children were not physically affected and did not suffer injuries from this incident.

Lt. David Lamberth said that the children were upset and sweating when they were found, but otherwise OK.

In a call to 911, a bystander said that the windows of the vehicle were open, but there were no adults in sight of the children.

The children were released to family after being evaluated.

Heather Renee Wilson, 28, was charged with two counts of misdemeanor child abuse and jailed under a $10,000 secured bond, police said.

Lamberth said even at the end of the day, temperatures inside the car are too high for children. He said heat can rise to a dangerous level in just minutes.

"We don’t want to be sorry or regretful for the rest of our lives for just a momentary lapse in judgement,” he said.

Some parents in Eden said the incident was unsettling. Ashely Tepfer has four children and said she's always mindful before getting behind the wheel.

“What I started doing was putting my purse in the back of my vehicle. That way it’s there with them when I get out,” she said.

Wilson was released from jail Tuesday and is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 1.

The Eden Police Department asks anyone with information to call the department at (336) 623-9755 or (336) 623-9240.

An anonymous tip can be left with Crime Stoppers by calling (336) 349-9683.