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Noblesville Mother Arrested After Leaving 4-Year-Old In Car

Last updated on Wednesday, August 1, 2012

(FISHERS) - A 34-year-old Noblesville woman was arrested after police say she left her four-year-old son alone in a hot car Monday.

Fishers Police officers and Fire Department personnel were called to the Super Target in Fishers shortly after noon on Monday. A 911 call alerted police to the parking lot.

"There is a child in a car, right outside the store. We've had guests calling to complain," said the caller, who identified herself as a manager at the Super Target.

"Does he look like he's struggling for any kind of air or anything?" asked the 911 operator.

"No," said the caller.

"One of the windows is cracked," the caller continued.

Roni Penn told officers that she went into the store to run an errand, but that her son did not want to go. She admitted to leaving him in the car for around half an hour.

The temperature inside the vehicle was around 100 degrees after the car was ventilated. Medics checked out the boy, who was hot and sweaty, but needed no additional medical attention.

Penn was arrested and taken to The Hamilton County Jail. The child was released to his father. She faces a charge of neglect of a dependent, a Class D felony. Eyewitness News stopped by Penn's home to get her side of the story, but no one answered the door.

This is the latest in a string of instances of children being left in hot vehicles this summer. In a Greenfield case, a young infant died.

"If you had $10,000 dollars in cash, would you leave it on the back seat of your car? Would you forget about it?" asked Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Kristina Korobov.

It's a question Korobov said parents should be asking themselves before leaving a child alone in a vehicle.

"I have never seen anything like this," said Korobov. "You may just have higher numbers of people who are saying we've got to get some intervention here. It's too dangerous and they call."

The problem when it comes to charging them, Korobov says, is getting those same witnesses to stick around after they've made the call.

"We can rescue the child and get them out of that circumstance, but proving how long the child was left in the car, may be a completely different game all together," she said.

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