ANDERSON — A woman is accused of child neglect after leaving several children in a running vehicle while she went inside a medical building for a pregnancy appointment.
Chessany Marie Robbins, 23, of Anderson is charged with five counts of Level 6 felony neglect of a dependent.
Anderson police conducted a welfare check at 1:20 p.m. Monday in the 2000 block of Meridian Street after someone noticed several unattended children in a vehicle, according to an affidavit of probable cause by Anderson Police Department Officer Gordon Corner.
Corner said he found a white minivan with five children in a side lot — the oldest was an 8-year-old girl. The girl told Corner her sister was inside the building at a doctor’s appointment for an ultrasound.
The vehicle, which wasn’t locked, was running and the air conditioner was turned on to low, but the air coming from the vents was warm, according to the affidavit.
A boy inside the car was completely naked and one of the children said some of them had vomited inside the car, according to the affidavit.
“I observed what appeared to be fresh vomit on the front passenger seat and in the rear passenger area of the vehicle,” Corner wrote in the affidavit.
He requested medics to evaluate the children, saying a 1-year-old was sitting in an unsecured car seat and appeared “pale and lethargic.” All of the children were taken to St. Vincent Anderson for treatment and precautionary measures.
Corner said the temperature was 74 degrees outside and humidity was at 84% when he found the children.
Robbins was located and told Corner that three of the children in the vehicle were her children and the other two children belonged to her stepmother, according to the affidavit. She said she thought the oldest child “would be OK with them.”
Corner said he spoke with the mother of the other two children who said she thought Robbins was taking her children to a grandmother’s home to get money.
“She said she would’ve never allowed them to remain in an unattended vehicle, especially in the area it was in,” Corner wrote in his affidavit.
Video footage showed the children were left in the vehicle for about 30 minutes, according to the affidavit. When the children were interviewed, officers learned they used a box in the back of the van to go to the restroom while they waited and one child said it was hot inside the vehicle.