83ºF

Fla. baby sitter leaves baby alone in car to go to Chipotle, police say

Claire Elise Tower faces charges of child neglect

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ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – A 25-year-old baby sitter was arrested Wednesday on allegations of leaving a baby alone in a hot car while she went into a Chipotle restaurant in Orange County.

Winter Garden police said Claire Elise Tower faces charges of child neglect.

According to police, a passerby noticed a child locked inside a vehicle near Daniels Road and called authorities.

An officer found a "small, blonde (haired) baby girl" in a car carrier inside a Nissan that was parked next to a Dumpster in a parking lot near several stores, according to Winter Garden police.

The car was not running, and the child had a sweaty head, face and arms, police said. The temperature outside was 90 degrees, and there was a heat index of 98, police said.

The officer broke a car window and took the child into an air conditioned store, police said. It's not known exactly how long the child, who was not seriously injured, was alone in the car.

According to Winter Garden police, a woman arrived at the vehicle and identified herself as Tower, saying she was the child's baby sitter.

The child's mother was contacted, and she picked up her girl, police said. The mother said she hired Tower in June from an online service.

Tower was arrested and taken to jail.