A Florida mother was arrested on Monday, July 1, after she allegedly left her 4-year-old daughter in a locked car while she attended a job fair.
Amber Collier, 25, of Miami Gardens, is facing a child neglect charge stemming from her arrest at about 11:40 a.m. at a Sam’s Club about 25 minutes from her home, according to news reports.
Police officers were called to the store in Miramar “in reference to a child locked inside a vehicle” for more than an hour.
When officers arrived, they saw the child in the back seat of the car and said she was “visibly upset,” according to a probable cause statement Fox News obtained.
After telling the child to unlock the door, police investigated the incident. They determined when looking at Sam’s Club surveillance footage that Collier had entered the store at about 10:30 a.m. and returned more than one hour later, local outlets reported.
The car’s air-conditioner was cooling the vehicle when police arrived and the child was not seriously hurt, the news station reported.
Collier had also given her daughter a cellphone to use in case of an emergency, she told police.
Collier’s public defender said said in court that the woman, a single mother, is receiving financial aid to attend college part time.
“Financially, right now, she’s going through a tough time and she wants to work,” he said.
A prosecutor in Collier’s case focused on the length of time the child was left in the car in court last Tuesday.
“My concern is not that the child would have overheated,” he said during the July 2 hearing. “My concern is, in that period, over an hour, anybody could have gone to that car and taken that child.”
He asked Broward County Judge Jackie Powell to set Collier’s bond at $5,000.
The judge instead set the bond at $2,500 and ordered Collier not to have any contact with her child pending the outcome of a family court hearing.