Two children fell seriously ill in Indiana after their parents left them in a car with a malfunctioning exhaust system while they shoplifted at a Walmart, according to police.
Antonio Kendrell Davis, aged 41, and Brittany Chris Rogers, 26, from Oklahoma, left their children in a car with the engine running while they entered the Walmart store at 4801 W. Clara Lane about 12:15 p.m. on Friday, police said.
Officers were later alerted to reports of two unresponsive children inside a car outside the store, according to NBC-affiliate WTHR.
When officers arrived they found two children, aged 8 and 2. One was unresponsive inside the vehicle, the other had been brought into the Walmart for assistance.
Walmart said the children’s parents had been shoplifting inside while the minors were slowly being poisoned, WTHR reported.
Investigators found the car’s exhaust system had malfunctioned and filled the vehicle with carbon dioxide to a level that was “dangerously high and a significant health threat,” police said.
One of the parents, who was also the registered owner of the car, knew the vehicle had an exhaust issue, according to investigators.
The children were reportedly taken to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital and were then transferred to a hospital in Indianapolis. Both received emergency medical treatment, although they are said to be in a serious but stable condition.
Davis and Rogers were inside the Walmart store for an “extended amount of time,” police said.
The couple were arrested and charged with neglect of a dependent and theft.
Newsweek has contacted Muncie Police Department for comment.
According to legal firm Lawyers Ready To Fight, neglect of a dependent in Indiana is typically a level 6 felony and “any defendant convicted of neglect will face up to two years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.”
Last month a young child was reportedly shot by his stepbrother while they waited inside a parked car while his mother went inside a Chipotle in Georgia.
Police said the 7-year-old had been reportedly shot by his 9-year-old stepbrother inside the vehicle in Snellville on January 30.
One of the Chipotle workers told WSB-TV said that she saw the young child was hurt and ran to provide care.
Johanna Cervantes said: “Some kids came in and they were screaming that someone shot him. You could see the visible gunshot wound coming out from his ear.
“We just stayed here applying pressure to the wound until the paramedics came. The mom was right there. She was the one putting a towel on his wound.”