The mother accused of leaving of a 1-year-old daughter in a hot car in Norwich Monday appeared in court Tuesday to answer to charges and she is due back in court in August.
Police said officers were called to the McDonald’s at 109 Salem Turnpike, where they found the little girl alone in the car, sleeping in a car seat. The car was not running and the windows were cracked open.
Katelynn Gosselin’s mother was the one who first spotted the child.
She said her mother went inside and with help from a store manager asked everyone in the restaurant if the car belonged to them, but no one answered. That was when they called police.
“My mom said about 10-12 minutes the baby was in the car before the cops even got there,” Gosselin said. “When the cops got there, the baby had sweat dripping down its forehead.”
When officers arrived the child was immediately taken out of the car and placed in a cooler vehicle, then taken to Backus Hospital for treatment. Police said she had no significant injuries and has since been released.
According to police, officers located the mother and a sibling inside the fast-food restaurant.
The mother, identified as 45-year-old Dawa Dolma, of Norwich, was taken into custody and charged with leaving a child unsupervised and first-degree reckless endangerment. Bond was set at $5,000 and Dolma appeared before a judge Tuesday. A public defender is being appointed for Dolma.
The Department of Children and Families has been notified and one condition of Dolma’s release is that she needs to comply with any DCF investigation. She is due back in court on Aug. 7.
DCF spokesman Gary Kleebatt released a statement that reads in part:
“If we receive a report that a child may have been abused or neglected we will conduct an investigation and take the appropriate steps as warranted under the circumstance.”
Dr. Marc Guttman, of Backus Hospital, said Monday that cracking the windows open doesn’t do much for the temperature on a hot day and that leaving a child in the car is very dangerous.
“Obviously getting dehydrated, which has lots of problems, it can cause neurological problems, kidney problems,” Guttman said.
Sgt. Chris Callaway, of Norwich Police, said there is no reason to leave a child in a hot car, even for a minute.
“The temperature inside a car at 90 degrees can get well over 110, 115 in a matter of 20 minutes,” Callaway said.
Editor's note: Initial reports provided incorrect information on the age of the child. The child is 1-year-old.