Mother charged with child endangerment after leaving 4 children in hot car, police say

By Brandon Walker - Reporter

BAYTOWN, Texas - A mother was charged with child endangerment after Baytown police said she left her four children in a hot car Friday.

Adriana Aranda, 30, was arrested and charged the same day.

Baytown police said Aranda left her four children, ages 1, 3, 6 and 9, in a car in the parking lot of a Joe V's Smart Shop, located on the 3500 block of Garth Road.

Temperatures soared Friday, topping 90 degrees in some areas, including Baytown. Police told KPRC2 when they arrived, they requested an outside temperature from dispatch, which was 91 degrees. Investigators checked the temperature of the car, once the children were removed. It read 120 degrees, according to Baytown police.

Police received word of Aranda's children being left in the car from Amber Meadows.

Meadows, a Baytown resident, said she noticed the children while walking to her car Friday afternoon.

"Terrifying. They were covered in sweat," Meadows said. "The little girl had a water bottle and she was crunching it, trying to get every last drop out."

Meadows told KPRC2 she was able to give the children water. She then waited, hoping someone would claim the children.

"I called my husband crying, like, 'What do I do?' And he's like, 'Call the police,'" Meadows said.

She did.

It was after Baytown police and fire arrived that Aranda walked out of the store, according to investigators.

"She came up to the car and was like what's going on," Meadows said.

KPRC2 looked into Aranda's criminal past, which is lengthy. Friday's charge of child endangerment marked the second time Aranda has faced the same charge.

In August 2014, Aranda pleaded guilty to endangering a child. She spent 200 days in jail, according to DPS records.

In July 2004, Aranda was convicted of injury to a child and was sentenced to two years in jail, according to DPS records.

Investigators urged adults not to leave children behind in hot cars, no matter how quick the trip.

Meadows did the same.

"I'm a mom ... that's what you do. You take care of kids," she said.

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