Good Samaritan says it was 'meant to be'

Yunia Flores (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections)
Yunia Flores (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections)
Penny Jessie
Penny Jessie

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville woman who left her two children - one of them just one-month-old - inside a hot car with the engine off while she went shopping has been arrested. It happened Tuesday afternoon in the 4400 block of the Outer Loop and the woman who found the children in the hot car and called police says she had no plans to be in the area that day.

"I wasn't even supposed to be out this way," said Penny Jessie.

But Jessie, a mom who lives in Pleasure Ridge Park, believes sometimes things happen for a reason.

"I asked my son if he wanted to ride out to Plato's Closet and he did, so it was just like meant to be," Jessie said.

When Jessie and son got to the clothing store just down from Jefferson Mall, they found a two-year-old boy crying in a hot car. Jessie says she looked to see if there was an adult in the car with the child and noticed the engine was off and the car was locked. Then she noticed something else - a one-month-old girl.

"There was a little baby over in the backseat strapped in by the window," said Jessie. "The heat was glaring in on her and she was sleeping."

Jessie says the windows were rolled up, and that was later confirmed by 7th Division police officers.

Jessie dialed 911. A few minutes later, she says the mother, now identified as 26-year-old Yunia Flores, came out of the store. Flores grabbed the crying two-year-old, but left the baby in the steamy car.

"I was afraid if I left the baby it might end up dead," Jessie said.

Just before police arrived, Jessie says Flores came back to the car and turned the air conditioning on, but police took her into custody. Jessie says she has been upset ever since.

"I waited until she was handcuffed before I left," said Jessie. "I was almost afraid they were going to let her go, but she got arrested and I'm so glad."

Flores is charged with wanton endangerment of the children, but there was also a fugitive warrant for her arrest on an old shoplifting charge. Her car was towed from the shopping area after her arrest.

Child Protective Services were called and the children were released to their grandmother.

Related story:

Copyright 2011 WAVE News. All rights reserved.