A woman was charged with child abuse after she allegedly shut her kids in the trunk of her car Thursday while she shopped at a Walmart in Riverdale, Utah, the Deseret News reported.
Tori Castillo, 39, faces four counts of child abuse, according to a Weber County Sheriff’s inmate roster. She was still in jail Tuesday morning and is to be arraigned today, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office told HuffPost.
The children, ages 2 and 5, are safe, thanks to alert passersby. As the children screamed and shook the car from the inside, one witness called police while others responded as well.
“Several good Samaritans observed this and came to the aid of the children,” Riverdale police Lt. Casey Warren told the newspaper.
One of the witnesses, identified only as Heidi, told Salt Lake City’s Fox 13 she could hear a little girl yelling for her mother to let her out. She said she instructed the child to open the emergency latch and out popped two kids like they were “spring-loaded,” she told the television station.
While Heidi and a friend waited for police to arrive, the mother appeared. “The only explanation she had was, ‘My babysitter didn’t show up,’” Heidi said.
The children were released to their father, the local ABC affiliate, Good4Utah, reported. The Department of Child and Family Services is investigating, along with police.