A mother and her acquaintance are accused of leaving a baby alone in a freezing car for up to half an hour while they went shopping at an adult store in Southington on Wednesday morning.
Police said they responded to VIP – or Very Intimate Pleasures – on Queen Street in Southington at 11:09 a.m. after an employee called authorities to report that customer has left an infant alone inside a vehicle in the parking lot as they shopped inside, police said.
When officers responded, they found a 2-week-old baby boy alone inside a 1997 Nissan Sentra, wearing two onsies and covered in a blanket.
Upon investigating, they determined that the mother, Lindsay M. Hoffmann, 26, of Waterbury, and her acquaintance, Marquette Riggsbee, 54, of New Haven, had first gone into the adult shop with the infant, but store staff said children were not allowed inside the store, so the couple left.
Soon after, they came back, but without the baby.
Concerned, an employee went outside to check on the infant, saw the vehicle and the child seat with no one else in or around the vehicle and called police.
The car was not running and temperatures were below freezing, police said, so officers went inside, called out for the owner of the car and Riggsbee came forward.
He told police that his friend, Hoffmann, was in the changing rooms, police said. When they asked if a baby was in the car, he said the woman's child was in the vehicle, police said. As the questioning went on, Riggsbee became agitated and hostile, so police detained him and put him in the cruiser, police said.
Hoffman then emerged from the store and police told her to take the baby out of the car seat and turn on the heat to warm the child until an ambulance could arrive.
The infant was taken to the hospital to be evaluated and the paramedic told police that the baby's body temperature was OK, but his extremities were "ice cold," even after being in ambulance for 20 minutes, police said.
The state Department of Children and Families was notified, took the child into temporary emergency custody and has started its own investigation.
Hoffmann and Riggsbee were both charged with risk of injury to a minor and leaving a child unsupervised.
They were each held on a $25,000 bond prior to their court appearances Thursday. Riggsbee's bond was lowered to $150,000 and Hoffmann's was set at $100,000.
Authorities said Riggsbee is being held at the Hartford Correctional Center and Hoffmann is at the York Correctional Facility. Both are due back in court March 11.