Marsha Ouwigho, 20, had allegedly been shopping for 25 minutes before she was called over the store's public address system

By Harriet Sokmensuer
March 31, 2020 02:46 PM
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Marsha Ouwigho
Credit: Alachua County Sheriff's Office

A Florida mother is charged with child neglect after allegedly leaving her 2-year-old daughter in a hot car for nearly 30 minutes while she shopped for groceries.

On Saturday afternoon, shoppers at a Gainesville Walmart called police after noticing a young girl strapped in the backseat of a car. The outside temperature was 85 degrees, but the temperature was 113 degrees inside the car, authorities said, according to the Gainesville Sun and WCJB.

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When the girl’s mother, Marsha Ouwigho, 20, was paged on the store’s public address system, she went outside and told authorities she had only been shopping for a few minutes, a Gainesville Police Department spokesperson tells PEOPLE.

But police allege Ouwigho had been shopping for 25 minutes before she was called outside, report the Sun and WCJB.

Ouwigho allegedly told police she had left the girl in the car because the child was asleep, according to police.

It took police 17 minutes to rescue the girl, who was sweating but appeared to be unharmed.

It was not immediately clear if she has retained an attorney or entered a plea.