An Athens woman who left her 23-month-old child inside a locked and hot vehicle in the parking lot of Walmart in Oconee County last week was formally arrested Tuesday.
Equila Aja Teasley, 39, was charged with cruelty to children. Teasley remained in the Oconee County Jail on a $10,000 bond, but Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry said she also has a probation hold from Clarke County.
Authorities said Teasley went into Walmart on July 5 and left the boy inside a Chevrolet Tahoe. Video evidence shows she was inside the store for 18 minutes, according to a sheriff’s report.
The temperature was about 94 degrees that afternoon and the vehicle was parked in direct sunlight, deputies said. The child began crying, which alerted a nearby family, according to the report. A Winder woman called 911 and a Walmart employee was able to use a stick to push the lock button and open the door.
The Winder woman told the Athens Banner-Herald that the child’s clothing were “completely soaked, like he had been in a swimming pool.” In addition, she said the child was no longer crying and was lethargic by the time he was rescued. Medics were called to examine the child.
Teasley told officers that because her son had fallen asleep she decided to leave him in the vehicle while she went inside to purchase milk.