Mom Allegedly Left Toddler in Hot Car During Interview With Department of Child Services

Jennifer K. Ost, 27, is accused of leaving her toddler inside a hot vehicle while meeting with DCS about her other baby

Jennifer Ost
Photo: Anderson Police

An Indiana mother has been arrested after she allegedly left her toddler in a hot car while she attended a Department of Child Services interview with her newborn.

Jennifer K. Ost, 27, was arrested and charged with neglect of a dependent, a level 6 felony.

According to Fox 59, Ost was scheduled for an appointment with DCS on Tuesday afternoon. According to the police report first obtained by the news channel, Ost had given birth to a son four days earlier. After she signed him out of the hospital against medical advice, she agreed to allow a DCS pediatrician to examine the newborn.

When she arrived at the appointment, police say that she left her older child, a toddler, inside the hot car. The outside temperature was 86 degrees, and police say the interior of the car was even hotter.

Police first learned about the boy in the car after a concerned onlooker called 911.

Documents first obtained by the Herald Bulletin allege that when police arrived at the scene, all the windows were rolled up and the boy was “extremely wet from sweating inside the vehicle.” He was watching a movie on a cell phone.

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According to the arrest affidavit, Ost arrived at her appointment at 2:40 p.m. The boy was released from the car at 4:30 pm, almost two hours later. He was taken to a nearby doctor for evaluation. He does not appear to have any lasting injuries, according to the affidavit.

When police questioned Ost, she allegedly told them that she did not want her toddler to attend the appointment, so she left him in the vehicle, the report alleges.

Ost was booked at the Madison County Detention Center on $10,000 bond, PEOPLE confirms. She has not yet entered a plea, and court documents do not reflect an attorney authorized to speak on her behalf.

PEOPLE confirms that both children have been taken into the care of DCS. It is unclear what Ost will need to do to regain custody.

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