SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — A Waterbury mother and her acquaintance are facing charges after they allegedly left an infant boy inside a car in frigid cold temperatures while they shopped at an adult store.
Just after 11 a.m. Wednesday, Southington police responded to the V.I.P. store on Queen Street after an employee reported that they suspected the child was left outside in the cold. Officers arrived on the scene to find a two-week-old boy alone inside the not running, parked car in the below freezing parking lot.
“You need to simply monitor a child that young, any child for that matter,” said Southington police Lt. Michael Bairbault. “To leave them alone in a car that’s cold, it was 29 degrees at that time of day, it’s just dangerous.”
“I seen the infant being taken out of the car and it was not dressed for winter,” said V.I.P district manager Tina Marchese. “It was just in a normal onesie. No hat, hands exposed.”
“The child was taken to the hospital for an examination,” said Bairbault. “The internal temperature and everything with the child was found to be adequate. The extemities, feet, hands, etc., were found to be a little bit on the cold side, but the child is not in danger at this point in time.”
Other Southington officers went inside the store to find both Hoffmann and Riggsbee inside. Police say the pair had been inside the store without the infant for over 20 minutes.
Officers say that the baby’s mother, 26-year-old Lindsay Hoffmann and her acquaintance, 54-year-old Marquette Riggsbee of New Haven, originally entered the V.I.P. store with the infant. Store employees advised the pair that children were not allowed inside the store.
“Then I believe they left and then placed the baby in the car and then came in here to continue to shop,” said Marchese.
Employees noticed how quickly the pair returned without the infant, and went out to the parking lot to check. When an employee saw their car with the child seat with no one else in or around the car, police were called.
Both Hoffmann and Riggsbee are charged with risk of injury to a minor and leaving a child unsupervised. They were each held on $25,000 bond.
The Connecticut Department of Children and Families was notified. They have started their own investigation.