Baby found locked in a car, three arrested for child desertion

Quija Hawkins,18, Lisa Hawkins,38 and Troynisha Hawkins,17 (KPD)
Quija Hawkins,18, Lisa Hawkins,38 and Troynisha Hawkins,17 (KPD)

Kenner, La.- Police arrested the mother, aunt and grandmother of a 10-month-old baby Thursday, after leaving the child locked in a car with the window partially down and a dog inside the car while they shopped.

Around 8:19 p.m., an off-duty Kenner Police Officer working a security detail at the Wal-Mart, located at 300 West Esplanade Avenue in Kenner was flagged down by a citizen who reported hearing a child crying from inside a locked vehicle.

The concerned citizen notified the police officer who was in the store, who then located a 10-month-old left unattended in a vehicle with the window partially open.

Officers located the mother, 18-year-old Quija Hawkins, the grandmother, 38-year-old Lisa Hawkins and the infants' aunt, 17-year-old Troynisha Hawkins inside the store.

All three women advised officers that infant was sleeping inside the car in a child safety seat and they did not want to wake the infant so they ensured the car was locked, left the infant inside the car with their dog, for approximately 15 to 30 minutes with the windows ajar two inches, while they shopped.

Officers noted that at the time of incident the New Orleans International Airport reported that it was 53 degrees outside.

The Hawkins were each arrested and charged with one count of child desertion.

A review of surveillance cameras revealed the Hawkins were inside the store for over 45 minutes before they were located and returned to the car.

The Office of Community Services and Child Protection were notified of the incident and the infant was placed with a second grandmother who arrived on scene and took custody of the infant.  The City of Kenner Humane Department took custody of the dog.

The Hawkins were released Friday from the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on a $1,000 commercial bond each.

Chief Steve Caraway urges anyone with information concerning this incident, to contact the Kenner Police Department at (504) 712-2222 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.