Woman accused of leaving two young children in vehicle alone while she shopped at Walmart

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A woman is accused of child neglect and false informing, after police said she left a six-month-old and a four-year-old inside a vehicle while she went shopping at Evansville’s east side Walmart.

Police said the vehicle’s back window was rolled down about three inches and the temperature was around 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Police said the four-year-old would not unlock the vehicle because her mother had told her not to.

Someone parked nearby said they had not seen anyone exit or enter the vehicle for approximately 30 minutes.

Krista Hatfield came back to the vehicle and identified herself as the driver.

Krista told police her sister, a 16-year-old, was supposed to be in the vehicle with the kids.

However, when police reviewed camera footage of the parking lot, they said Krista was the only one to exit the vehicle.

When confronted with this, police said Krista said her sister arrived in another vehicle. 

The camera footage also did not show another vehicle approaching Krista’s vehicle, police said.

Police said Krista called her sister and appeared to be coaching her into corroborating the story she had given police. She later admitted to authorities that she had lied, police said.

Krista was arrested and charged with neglect of a dependent and false informing. 

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(This story was originally published on March 12, 2019)

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