Mom charged after St. Pete infant left in hot van - WFLA News Channel 8

Mom charged after St. Pete infant left in hot van

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Graver, 32, was booked into the Pinellas County Jail. Graver, 32, was booked into the Pinellas County Jail.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) - A St. Petersburg woman was arrested after she left her infant daughter in a hot, unattended vehicle Saturday.

St. Petersburg police said Natasha W. Graver, 32, of 2011 42nd St. S. in St. Petersburg, left her four-month-old baby girl alone in the van for several hours.

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During that time, she attended funeral services for three young women killed in a fiery traffic crash June 26 then drove home with her infant daughter still in the child restraint seat in the backseat of the van.

After the child was discovered, Graver was charged with one count of child abuse and taken to the Pinellas County Jail for booking. She was released just after 10 a.m. Sunday after posting a bond of $5,000.

Police officers responded to a call at Graver's house on 42nd Street South shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday, the St. Petersburg Police Department said. They went there to check out a call about a child being left alone for hours in a hot van.

Paramedics treated the baby at the scene for heat exposure before she was taken to All Children's Hospital in stable condition, St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz said in a news release. The baby remained at the hospital late Saturday for tests.

Police investigators interviewed both parents. Graver told authorities her actions were unintentional. She forgot she had placed her baby in her child restraint seat in the backseat of the van before heading off to the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church on 31st Street South to attend the 1 p.m. funeral service.

Graver said she got out of the van with the windows closed and went into the church, leaving the baby in the vehicle, the release states. After the service, Graver drove home and went inside.

Graver's husband, the child's father, was home at the time, but apparently did not question the whereabouts of the child, assuming the baby was with relatives. They made plans to eat out and discovered the baby unresponsive in her child restraint seat in the van when they went outside to leave.

The baby's car restraint seat was found by officers in the center of the backseat. Officers believe the infant was left unattended in the van for about 3 and a half hours. Child Protection investigators also were called to the house. They left Graver's four other children, ages 13 to a 1 year old, in the custody of her husband.

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