Monique Williams said she was just running in and out of Publix to pick up milk for her 1-year-old foster son. But Apopka police investigators who arrested her Thursday said Williams had been inside the store for nearly 20 minutes when a passer-by noticed the toddler alone in her hot SUV.
That passer-by called 911:
I did my grocery shopping and I checked the vehicle. I always look when there's kids in the car to make sure there's an adult — or a teenager, at least — somebody in there.
Williams told police she left the boy in the car because the last time she went shopping with him, he got an eye infection.
"He's very sick. He's very sick," the foster mother told reporters as she was led away by Apopka police Thursday afternoon. "There just was a mistake that was made. That's all."
Police said it was about 90 degrees outside when they arrived at 4 p.m., but it was much hotter inside the SUV.
"The kid was wet with sweat," said Apopka police Capt. Randy Fernandez. "The windows were up, the doors were closed, and it was a lot hotter in the car. It doesn't take much time at all for a child to have a serious medical emergency with that kind of heat."
Police also said the Florida Department of Children and Families was at Williams' home Thursday conducting visitations for her other foster children when she took the boy to the store with her.
DCF has taken custody of the 1-year-old, and was working to figure out what to do with Williams' other foster children.
Williams said she was sorry for what she did as she was transported to the Orange County Jail on child neglect charges. She was released on bond early Friday morning.