21-year-old North Carolina mom leaves toddler in hot car while shopping at beauty store

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Police arrested a 21-year-old North Carolina woman after police said she left her 2-year-old baby inside a hot locked car.

It happened around 1:49 p.m. Thursday in the parking lot of Zoe’s Kitchen on Evans Street in Greenville.

Officers arriving at the scene said they found several bystanders trying to help.

Fortunately, Greenville Police Officer Elliot Gruhn was able to unlock the door by reaching his hand through the cracked window of the car.

Officer Elliot Gruhn

The little boy was in the back seat, secured in his car seat.

Police said that temperatures inside the car ranged from 104 to 116 degrees Fahrenheit.

Gruhn took the toddler inside the restaurant to cool him down.

He was then transported to Vidant Medical Center just as a precaution. He’s expected to be OK.

Ashley Caroline Garris was located about 30 minutes after police arrived on the scene.

She had been inside Ulta Beauty shopping for approximately an hour while her baby was locked in the car.

She was arrested and charged with misdemeanor child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

DSS Child Protective services is now involved in the case and Garris has been prohibited from having contact with the child.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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