Mom leaves 3-year old unattended in parking lot, facing charges

Polk County

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A 23-year old mother faces a negligent child abuse charge after, police say, she left her 3-year old daughter unattended in a public parking lot for more than an hour.

On Wednesday morning at around 9:50, Joanna Joseph arrived at Syke, a business located on Griffin Road in Lakeland.

Joseph entered the building to complete paperwork.

Her daughter was left alone in a running vehicle in the parking lot, the affidavit reads The doors were unlocked.

The situation was so disturbing, a witness notified a Syke employee who called police.

When police arrived just before 11:30 a.m., the 3-year old asked for her mother.

Joseph told police she came out once to check on her daughter but a witness never saw her leave her computer.

“Joseph was placed under arrest due to leaving her minor child in a running vehicle, unsecured. The vehicle was parked in a place where the general public had access,” police wrote in the arrest affidavit.

Bond was set at $2,500. The judge ordered Joseph to abide by DCF plans.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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