Tori Lee Castillo, 39, was arrested Thursday evening in a suspected case of child abuse, AP reports citing the Riverdale Police Department.
Eyewitnesses told officers that the woman locked her two children – aged 2 and 5 – in the trunk of her car before going to the local Walmart to shop. They heard the kids scratching and making other noises inside the car and guided them to reach for an emergency latch to free themselves.
The police were called to the scene and arrested the careless woman on her return to the parking lot. She remains in custody while her children have been taken away by social workers and handed over to a responsible party.
The reasons behind the woman’s actions remained unknown.
The bizarre incident with a fortunate ending, stands out among many similar cases where parents often “forget” their children and lock them inside their cars, but rarely deliberately put them in the trunk.
Besides being a criminal offense in some states, locking children in cars is potentially fatal as they can suffocate or die of heat stroke if the vehicle is left in the sun.