Two siblings walked into a store on Monday but ended up exiting in handcuffs after forgetting to bring a toddler with them.
Police said the 16-month-old was suffering for nearly an hour outside, while the child’s mother and uncle were inside an East Windsor Walmart. They left the baby in an unlocked van, with the windows up, while the temperature outside was 81 degrees.
The two police say are responsible are 25-year-old Gloria Sanchez-Cerritos of New Britain, and her brother, 30-year-old Juan Sanchez-Cerritos, also of New Britain.
Gloria Sanchez-Cerritos is an illegal immigrant who came from Mexico. She’s been in the U.S. for eight years, three of them in Connecticut.
With no criminal record, she's led a life under the radar, raising four kids, but now, she could be facing deportation.
Meanwhile, her brother just got a Ph.D. in math. He was visiting from Mexico on his way to a researching job in China.
The two say they were going to Walmart to buy a car seat for the infant and forgot about her.
When they did remember, nearly an hour later, police were waiting, the infant, safe.
Parents are left in disbelief.
“You're a parent, it's something that's natural. It's an instinct. If you can remember your cell phone, you should remember your child,” said Renisha Martin, of Windsor Locks.
Outside of court, Juan is a free man, posting 10 percent of the $2,500 bond. His sister faces an even lower bond of $1,000, meaning she only needed to come up with $100, but could be held by Immigration Customs Enforcement.
The infant is back at home and both the mother and uncle are not allowed to be with her unsupervised. Knowing how tragic this could have been, local parents are hoping the lesson was learned.
“They need to go through some kind of educational thing, I don't think putting them in jail is the answer, but they should go through some kind of retraining,” said Debbie Fitzpatrick, of Enfield.
Many were taken aback by the amount of these bonds. Channel 3 scoured records and found that in previous cases, with no deaths, parents were usually held on a lower bond and went free.
On Tuesday, East Windsor police took to their Facebook page to thank the individuals who noticed the baby was left alone in the car and called police. See the post here.
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