TANGIPAHOA PARISH -- The mundane commute home from a long day at work turned into a nightmare for a woman in Tangipahoa Parish when she pulled into the parking lot of a Natalbany area day care.
“She believed that she had dropped him off at school, on the way to work in the morning, like she had done many times,” Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Dawn Panepinto said. “At the end of the day, the end of her shift, she went back to the daycare and he wasn't there.”
The discovery of the 8-month-old boy’s lifeless body in the backseat left dozens in the community shocked, especially a mother of seven children we spoke with who asked not to be identified.
“Yes, moms makes mistakes,” she said. “As a mom, I forgot one of my kids in the car, but in another sense, I realized, I counted my kids. I don't have all of my kids. Right then and there.”
The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office has not made an arrest in the case nearly 24 hours after the child's death because they say the evidence, facts and circumstances surrounding this case point to a terrible accident.
It’s also why they’re using the terrible situation to warn parents to “look before you lock” and check their cars for children every time they leave it.
And while many in the community are torn about whether an arrest should be made, the anonymous mother we spoke with said she’s keeping an open mind.
“She might need help,” she said. :She don't need jail. She's going to live with that for the rest of her life.”
The coroner’s office has not released the child’s identity or the cause of his death, citing the pending investigation.