89ºF

Couple rescues 5-year-old locked inside hot car in parking lot

HOUSTON – Temperatures were topping out at 90 degrees Wednesday when a young couple knew they had to act after seeing a 5-year-old girl locked in a car in the parking lot of a Rosenberg grocery store off Highway 59 near FM 762.

"I was like, what's going on?" Lisa Walling, who helped the girl, said.

Lisa and her husband, Chase, didn't hesitate.

"I mean, there's no excuse for that," Chase Walling said.

Lisa Walling was the first to see what she described as a dazed 5-year-old girl locked in a car in the June heat.

"I yell for him and I'm like, 'Chase, help me. This little girl, she's stuck in the car. We need to get her out,'" Lisa Walling said.

"The car was off. The windows were rolled up," Chase Walling said.

Parents themselves, Chase and Lisa Walling tried to get the little girl to unlock the door.

"He came over there, and we're like, 'It's OK, we're nice, we're nice. Can you unlock the door?' Thankfully, she's five and could understand us," Lisa Walling said.

Fortunately, the little girl listened and unlocked the door.

"As soon as she opened it, I give her a big old hug, and she is drenched in sweat. It was awful," Lisa said.

Staff at the Kroger helped keep the girl cool and gave her water while the Wallings called police. About that time, the little girl's 60-year-old grandmother came looking for her.

"She was telling me like, 'It's not that hot outside.' She wasn't thinking," Chase said.

Police showed up and called the little girl's mother, who came to get her. The Wallings are relieved they found the little girl when they did, because they said employees told them they thought the girl's grandmother had been shopping in the store for up to an hour.

When KPRC spoke with the girl's mother she said, "I am very grateful they found her. I think I could have gotten off work and not had a child. My mom made a mistake."

"She was a sweetheart. We wanted to take her home. (laughs) But it doesn't work that way," Chase Walling said.

Rosenberg police said they haven't decided whether charges will be filed against the grandmother. Detectives are getting surveillance video from the store to determine exactly how long she was inside while her granddaughter was left in the car.