Police: Woman arrested after leaving infant, toddler in hot apartment

Shuntia Wilson, 23, charged with child neglect

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman was arrested Tuesday afternoon after she left an infant and a toddler home alone in an apartment without air conditioning for several hours, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said. 

Shuntia Wilson, 23, is charged with child neglect.

Officers were called about noon to the Roosevelt Gardens Apartments on South Lincoln Road in the Hogans Creek neighborhood after a person called police, saying a toddler girl and an infant boy were left by themselves in their apartment.  

Police said that person waited with the children for another 20 minutes to see if someone would arrive at the apartment, but when no one did, the witness called 911.

The witness told police that the unit "had no electricity and it was extremely hot in the apartment," according to an arrest report. 

The Weather Authority Chief Meteorologist John Gaughan said the temperature inside the apartment would have likely been in the high 80s. 

Police said the children were taken to the rental office, where an officer was able to interview the toddler.

According to the arrest report, the toddler told the officer that she had been home alone with her brother “since it was dark yesterday.” The girl also stated she had older siblings who weren’t staying at their apartment.

A few hours later, Wilson returned to the apartment and was arrested on a charge of child neglect. The arrest report said she "was responsible for the conditions the children were left in."

Wilson told officers that she left to go to the store Tuesday morning, but the children were with a neighbor, according to the arrest report.

She was booked into the Duval County Jail and ordered held on $5,000 bond.

The incident serves as a reminder to parents that it's important to recognize the signs of heat illness and dehydration this time of year. Those symptoms include fatigue, thirst, dry lips, dizziness and, in severe cases, nausea. 

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