Child locked in hot car

GREAT FALLS - Whitney Nowak has been charged with Criminal Endangerment after court documents say she left a one year old girl in the car on Sunday with the windows rolled up for more than 2 hours.

Great Falls Police found Nowak was parked in a red Jeep Cherokee at 802 10th Avenue South at 11:57am.  Court documents say she was slumped over the steering wheel with a baby strapped in a car seat in the back. 

When police made contact with her they could feel hot air coming from the inside of the car.  With the baby in plain view officers say her head was soaked with sweat, and her cheeks and neck had signs of heat rash on them. 

The baby was dressed in a onesie with a heavy blanket over her legs. 

When police asked her how long she thought she was passed out for, she responded with, " I don't know."

Police say Nowak became more and more agitated with them and at that point officers put her into custody.

GFPD checked the temperature inside the vehicle and it read at 80.6° in the front seat, 89.1° in the back by the baby's car seat and 98° in the trunk.

The baby was taken to a local store to get changed into a clean diaper and clean dry clothes. 

Witnesses say the Jeep had been sitting int he same location since 9:30am with the windows rolled up the entire time. 

Nowak told police it was not hot when she parked the car and didn't think about turning the A/C on.

Child Protective Services was called to the scene and court documents say this is the second call from law enforcement in 2 days regarding the same type of incident. 

Nowak was charged and booked on 1 count of felony criminal endangerment and the state requested her bond be set at $2,500.


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