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Mom faces neglect charges after 11-month-old, 3-year-old were left alone in parked car

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A Catlett woman is facing felony child neglect charges after her 11-month-old and 3-year-old children were left alone in a parked car outside Sam’s Club. 

Police arrived at the store, 14050 Worth Ave. in Woodbridge, at 11:16 a.m. on Friday, May 21, to investigate after the 3-year-old exited the vehicle and approached another patron in the store’s parking lot, who called police, according to Officer Renee Carr, a Prince William County police spokeswoman.  

Police found a vehicle that was not running and was occupied by an unsupervised 11-month-old boy. Officers forced entry into the locked vehicle and removed the child, who was not injured, Carr said in a news release. 

The investigation revealed that the mother left the infant and the 3-year-old boy inside the vehicle while she went into the store, the release said. 

Both children were transported to an area hospital and later released to a family member. The mother, identified as Esmeralda Chavira, 23, of Catlett, was arrested and charged with two counts of felony child neglect. She was released on an unsecured $1,000 bond pending a court hearing, the release said.  


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