Posted at: 07/08/2014 5:22 PM
Updated at: 07/08/2014 10:07 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Good Samaritans said they heard a child crying for help as she tried to crawl out of a pickup truck parked in 90-degree heat, for more than an hour Tuesday afternoon.
"Screaming, sweating, unsure, and very scared," Sheena Mayorga said of the girl, 5.
Mayorga and her fiancé Hector Ramirez of California, along with their friend John Bodenheimer of Belen, approached the truck as the girl was beginning to crawl through a rear sliding window.
"We were just trying to calm her down," Bodenheimer said.
They said the pickup truck was off, had its windows rolled up and its doors locked. It was parked in a Home Depot parking lot at Eubank Boulevard and Central Avenue in southeast Albuquerque.
The three said the girl was sweating from head to toe. They said another customer and a few Home Depot employees took the girl inside the air-conditioned store to cool off and to give her water.
"A tragedy was prevented today," Albuquerque Police Lt. Eric Jordan said on the scene.
"You shouldn't leave kids, pets, anything in this type of heat without the car running. If you can't bring your children shopping with you, either don't go shopping or leave a responsible person with them at home," he said.
Lt. Jordan said paramedics took the girl to an Albuquerque hospital for treatment from heat exhaustion.
According to the good Samaritans, the girl's parents or guardians walked out of the store 45 minutes after officers arrived. Had the girl not cried for help, she would have likely remained in the pickup truck for nearly two hours.
"I hope they don't get the child back, they don't deserve the child if they're going to be doing that," Bodenheimer said. "I mean, they were in the store for over an hour. That child could have easily died."
KOB Eyewitness News 4 witnessed the girl's parents or guardians sobbing on scene before officers arrested them. It's still unclear who they are and what charges they face.