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Woman charged after allegedly leaving two-year-old nephew alone in vehicle

EDMONTON- A woman has been charged after allegedly leaving her two-year-old nephew alone in a vehicle in south Edmonton.

Police say the incident happened in a parking lot at 23rd Avenue and 111th Street on Friday.

“The aunt attended to a meeting in that area and left the child alone in a van,” said Sgt. Gary Willits of the Edmonton Police Service Child at Risk Response Team (CARRT).

CARRT was called by a concerned citizen who said she noticed the young boy alone in a locked vehicle. The witness told police the two-year-old was not in his car seat and had a nosebleed.

“The citizen noticed blood coming from the child’s nose, running down the face along the cheek,” Willits said.

“The citizen believed the child was in medical distress and made the decision to react immediately,” he said. “She was able to unlock the doors through a partially open window, remove the child… and call police.”

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Once opening the doors of the vehicle, the alarm went off and aunt came outside, Willits said.

Police say the child did not require any serious medical assistance, but the temperature outside at the time was close to 30 degrees Celsius. Witnesses believe the child was left alone in the vehicle for about 25 minutes.

The boy’s aunt has been charged under the Child Youth Family Enhancement Act for willfully causing a child to be in need of intervention.

This is the second time this week the charge has been laid; on Wednesday, an Edmonton mother was charged for allegedly leaving her seven-month-old infant alone in a mini-van in north Edmonton.

“In the last 49 hours we’ve had two incidents where we’ve laid charges against two families,” Willits explained.

He says he cannot stress enough, the importance of never leaving a child unattended.

“You cannot leave your children unsupervised,” he said. “Kids can get themselves in harms way, they can require medical assistance. We see children have wandered away, gotten themselves out of child restraints… But the big part for us, is when you’re not with your child, you cannot see your child, you cannot protect them.

“We know there’s crimes against children. We know there’s opportunists out there waiting to take advantage,” he explained. “These events could have ended a lot worse if the wrong person had come along.”

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