Mother leaves 4-month-old infant in unlocked car while she shops

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KENTWOOD, Mich.-- Leaving your most personal belongings in an unlocked car can be considered a risk, but leaving your 4-month-old child behind is never a good idea. That’s what landed a West Michigan mother behind bars Wednesday afternoon.

It happened in the parking lot of a Sam’s Club on 28th street in Kentwood.  The infant was left there until cries from the car caught the attention of someone walking by.

The man who found the baby in the car only waited 10 minutes until he attempted to get the crying infant out of the car. He told police he had no idea how long the baby had been in there prior. Police say it doesn't matter if you leave your baby alone for two minutes or an hour, you should never do it.

“It's never a good idea, never, to leave a child in a vehicle,” said Police Chief Thomas Hillen of Kentwood Police Department.

A concept Kentwood Police Chief Thomas Hillen says should be common sense. He says they don’t get calls like this too often, but one call like this is one too many.

“An unattended vehicle and a vehicle unlocked, anything could have happened,” he said.

It happened Wednesday around 1 p.m. in the Sam's Club parking lot along 28th street.A man walking by a car with some windows down was bothered by what he saw.

“He had walked past the car once or twice, and noticed that the child was in the backseat crying,” said Chief Hillen.

That's when the witness realized not only was the baby left in a car alone in 75 degree weather, but an unlocked car at that.

“Leaving a child unattended is a grave concern to everybody,” said Chief Hillen.

Jail records identify the mother as 27-year-old Chardonnay Henderson, who was arrested and charged with delinquency of a minor.

“She was not cooperative with officers. I think they determined she had gone in the store to do some shopping and the child was sleeping,” said Chief Hillen.

Child protective services were called to the scene, and the child was eventually released to a grandparent.

“I saw a young woman hold a baby that was screaming, and police were there blocking her car in,” said a witness Noelle Gillies.

Gillies, a mother of twins and a teacher, saw the incident play out. Noelle Gillies, a mother of twins and a  teacher, saw the incident play out, and remembers what it's like to be a first time mom.

“It's easy to do when you get busy or you want to get something done quickly,” she said.

But she says it's no excuse.

“That's your job as a mother to protect your child,” she said

Henderson's charge is a misdemeanor. She's since been bonded out of jail.

We attempted to contact her tonight, but haven't received a response as of news time.

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  • EveryDay a man who never gave birth, i never found it easy to forget my kids…even when I was busy.
    There is NO EXCUSE.
    Am I judging again ??

  • fred

    any ass hole who leaves a baby in a car alone is a worthless p o s as a human she should be locked in a car in the heat untell she drops dead

  • Doug

    Oh my, I can’t believe that people are so nasty, Her color or race has nothing to do with it, I just hope for her sake she learned from it. Yes, she made a very bad judgment call, who don’t. Lets not be so judgmental. And to wish death on her is no different than holding a gun to to her head.

    • Brandine Butlicker

      This was not a “bad judgement call” this was intentional neglect.

      People always do this kind of thing (like letting your 6 year old play in an alley by themselves so you can watch tv and not parent) so that people WILL take or murder their kids.

      NO ONE who loves their children actually do this.

      This was no “mistake” or “busy mom” crap. This was an attempt to get rid of her child.

    • Lesa

      I agree Doug, I don’t want her to be harmed or die either etc.. That’s evil… we’ve all made varying degree’s of mistakes, I hope she learns from this one and becomes a better parent. We are our children’s only voice and protection when they are young. Children deserve to be protected and to be cared for in the best possible way. After all, they didn’t ask to be here, we, as parents, bring them into this world..

  • tracyd112

    I as a single father never left my child in the car even if I was running in to pay for gas and was parked close to the door.Some think it is a hassle to get the child in and out! Hello THEN DONT HAVE KIDS! Why is this only a misdemeanor? They treat this like it is nothing but put a mark on your child when they are trying to pull away from you and CPS is all over you.This makes no sense to me If people are to busy to remember there child in the car WAKE UP WHAT DO YOU THINK GOES ON AT HOME?. They need to make this a felony for Attempted murder as that is what it is.

    • Lesa

      Exactly.. It really does make you wonder what happens at home? What a shame.. thank God for good citzens who saw this and acted!! Who knows what could’ve happened.

    • Brandine Butlicker

      I also think pregnant mothers who smoke should be arrested.

      Also, people who smoke around kids or pregnant mothers.

      Attempted murder or at at least negligent manslaughter.

      • Loveneverdies101

        No one should be charged for smoking while pregnant! I know a lot of people that have smoked cigarettes while pregnant and the babies be perfectly fine and extremely healthy. My mom smoked when she had me, I’m fine and heathy(:! If you smoke before you become pregnant it isn’t healthy for the baby to stop, it will cause the baby to have withdraws and stress.. So, look into things before you go and say stuff!

  • Mystrymeat

    Judging by this lady’s name, she must have been born in a liquor store, and Chardonnay was the first thing her mom saw. Just like naming your kid Lexus, Mercedes, Remy, or Hennessy, all names that represent a perceived affluent material item, most times way out of the price range of the parent naming their kid that. Her name should be Boones farm, or strawberry hill, or maybe even ripple.

    • Angels of mercy

      I had laugh at your post!
      Sorry if this “offends” anyone!
      But that woman does not look sorry or regretful…
      She appears combative as the story above indicates-

    • Des

      Wow! Well I know her personally and she was not born in a liquor store. Before you make a negative comment think about your own life.

      • Lesa

        I can’t think of a positive thing to say about this woman at this point.. the only positive is the fact the baby was helped. Can you imagine if someone took her child? I can’t imagine leaving a child in a car locked or unlocked.. this world isn’t a safe place.. to me it’s neglect and endangerment!

    • neasha

      You sound real dumb. Her name has nothing to do with the bad descision of her running in the store while her baby was sleeping to get a hotdog ,she didnt go grocery shopping. She is well into the christian community and a very sweet girl. She made a dumb mistake I agree her baby fortunately wasnt harmed and god had her babies back. She will never forget this and she is catching hell from people who know her,trust me. But she isnt who ya painting her or her family out to be.

  • Doug

    I wasn’t sticking up for her saying what she did wasn’t a bad thing, it definitely was, I completely agree with you all, what she did was neglectful. I myself had 5 of my own and never left them un attended anywhere! Not even in the house let alone the car. I just didn’t agree with how racist some people are and used her ethnic background as the reason she did it, Keep looking through the news, there was another man that left his son in the car while he was at work and he died, he was a white guy. I think she will spend some time to think about what she did and I hope it really hits her hard, that too will be punishment. Unless it really don’t bother her, then there’s a problem!

  • Chandra

    First time moms can sometimes forget and some of you need to stop. She is an exceptional mother and we are human lets look at you for instance. Have you ever made a mistake? As a parent I have made plentystop jidging unless you know.

    • Brandine Butlicker

      You are totally right, I would be upset if someone tried to take my two kids.

      That’s why I would never forget them.

    • neasha

      Hang yoursef for saying this. She works and is a college graduate. She tjought she could run in and get a hotdog while her child slept but she woke up. Im not saying its ok , but she got the right reaction from the people and now she knows it wasnt ok. Sometimes people think that there not hurti g there kids if there kids are getting rest because some babies dont sleep on proper scheduals. Her windows where cracked but the car door when she hit them didnt lock . She shouldnt have left the baby in the first place and point blank she didnt think this one threw all the way clearly. But she did freak out when she seen that man holding her baby and she was in tge store on video for 7 min. At the front of sams club getting a hot dog. Again im not saying this was ok by far but ya got her all wrong , bottom line I know she will never make this mistake again.

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