New Charges Filed Against Couple Who Cops Say Left Baby in Car While Shopping

By: Brian Gregory Email
By: Brian Gregory Email

Knoxville (WVLT) - A Sevierville couple faces new charges Tuesday, just two days after police say they left their five month old in an unlocked car while going shopping.

Officials in Knox County Juvenile Court confirm that 24-year-old David McCroskey and 29-year-old Chrystal McCroskey now face charges of abuse and neglect of a child under 6.

Previous charges of reckless endangerment were dropped today when the new warrants were served.

Knoxville Police say the McCroskeys left their infant daughter alone in their car while they went shopping at a North Knoxville K-Mart.

But police say that's only one disturbing detail in this child neglect case.

The sun was beating down and temperatures were in the 80's late Sunday afternoon when an employee of K-Mart was leaving for the day and heard the cries of a baby coming from the backseat of the vehicle parked next to hers.

"That is about the hottest part of the day, around 5:00," says KPD Spokesman Darrell DeBusk.

Police aren't sure exactly how hot it was inside the car when they rescued 5-month-old Baby Katelyn, but say it was very warm.

To give you an idea of how hot the inside of a car can get, at 11am Monday, the outside temperature read 70 degrees. At the same time, a thermometer inside one car, sits at 93 degrees.

"It just takes a small amount of time for the temperature to read at dangerous levels inside a vehicle," DeBusk says.

The obvious dangers weren't the only potential problems.

Police say the doors to the vehicle were left unlocked.

"Someone could have easily kidnapped that child," DeBusk says. "They would have been in and out of that car in a matter of seconds."

Police estimate that the baby's parents were inside the store for about 30 minutes.

They told police they didn't know the baby was with them.

"The parents indicated when they got to the store they actually forgot they had the child in the vehicle with them. The child must have been sleeping they said," DeBusk explains.

Police say thankfully instances like this don't happen too often, but when they do, they urge the public to do exactly what this witness did and immediately call police.

We do not know Baby Katelyn's condition this evening, but police tell WVLT she was examined at Children's Hospital Sunday night and didn't seem to suffer from anything life threatening.

They say it appears the couple has another older child living in their home.

But the Department of Children's Services would only tell WVLT they are involved. They would not tell us where Baby Katelyn is.

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