Shanesha Taylor was arrested on felony child abuse charges after Scottsdale police discovered her two kids, aged 2 years old and 6 months old, in a locked car.
Scottsdale police responded after a witness reported a child crying from inside a Dodge Durango parked at an office complex on March 20. Police said that two children were left along in the car with the engine off and the windows slightly cracked. The car was left parked in the sun and all the doors were closed.
AZFamily reports that the kids had already been in the car for 30 minutes when police arrived. Police said 35-year-old Taylor returned from her job interview about 45 minutes after officers came to the scene. She said she didn’t have anyone else to care for the kids while she was on an interview at an insurance company.
“She was upset. This is a sad situation all around. She said she was homeless. She needed the job,” Scottsdale Police Sergeant Mark Clark told KPHO. “Obviously not getting the job. So it’s just a sad situation.”
Taylor was arrested on two felony counts of child abuse. She remains in jail, and her children have been put in the custody of Child Protective Services.
Taylor’s arrest has spurred an online fundraising drive to help with her legal expenses, according to WTOP. At time of writing Friday, it had more than 975 supporters, and had raised more than $27,000 — three times more than its $9,000 goal.
The fundraising site acknowledges that Taylor made a “terrible mistake” but urges compassion.
“There are a lot of us who feel she was just a victim to what an economy like this is putting struggling families through,” Amanda Bishop, who organized the fundraiser, told KMGH.