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Mom Who Left Toddler in Target Parking Lot Says It Was an Accident

Photograph by Twenty20

A mom drove out of a Target parking lot with some very precious cargo missing: her toddler. Yeah, yikes.

Around 1 p.m. on Saturday, police received a call from a Target customer who found a 17-month-old boy left alone in a shopping cart in Easton, Massachusetts. The child, who did not appear to be injured, was checked by members of the fire department before taken to Good Samaritan Medical Center for an evaluation.

CBS Boston reported that about an hour later, a man who was with the child's mother called the police, saying the child had been "left behind in the parking lot accidentally." They were planning on heading back to Easton to pick up the baby.

The mom told police that when she left Target with three friends, she thought one of her friends had secured her son in his rear-facing car seat. She says her friends then left in a separate car to Plymouth, about a 34-mile drive from Easton. She said she didn't realize her son wasn't in his car seat until she arrived in Plymouth.

The 27-year-old mom is from Acton, Maine, but police withheld her identity for the victim's protection. (But also, if the internet launched a witch hunt after a couple left their baby unattended for four minutes at a buffet, we can't even imagine the wrath this family could face).

So, was this a major but human mistake or gross negligence?

Currently, the mom is charged with abandonment/endangerment of a child and is scheduled to appear in court at a later date. The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families also launched its own investigation and granted the mom custody of the boy that evening.

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