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Mom faces child-abuse charges for allegedly leaving kids in hot car

August 14, 2012 |  2:12 pm

The interior of the car in which two children were locked during sweltering conditions Saturday in Cudahy.

An 18-year-old mother accused of leaving her 2-week-old daughter and 1-year-old son in a hot, locked car while she shopped will be charged with misdemeanor child abuse, Los Angeles County prosecutors said.

Arely Aide Amaya, of Los Angeles, was set to appear in East Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon, where she will be arraigned on the two counts, the district attorney's office said.

Authorities say Amaya left the children strapped in their car seats as she shopped in Cudahy on Saturday afternoon. Alerted by a 911 call, a sheriff's deputy managed to unlock the car by sticking his arm through a partially open window, unbuckled the children and removed them from the car.

The vehicle's interior was probably 10 to 15 degrees hotter than the outside temperature of 92 degrees, and the children were hot and sweaty, said Lt. Daniel Lopez of the East Los Angeles sheriff’s station. Investigators estimated that the children had been in the car for 20 to 25 minutes.

They were taken to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood for treatment and are now in protective custody, officials said.

Amaya was arrested when she returned to the vehicle from a nearby store, where prosecutors said she had been shopping for a dress.

In convicted, Amaya faces up to two years in jail, prosecutors said.

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— Kate Mather

Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

Photo: The interior of the car in which two children were locked during sweltering conditions Saturday in Cudahy. Credit: KTLA

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