The parents of a 16-month-old child are facing charges after they left their toddler inside an unlocked and running car while they were gambling. Police said that 21-year-old Kimberley Cook and her boyfriend, 29-year-old Anthony Blue, went to a gas station in Harris County, Texas, around 9:30 p.m. and spent about 30 minutes playing the gaming machines with their young child.
The couple left but returned about an hour later. This time, they left the sleeping toddler in their car while they went inside to gamble some more. They would periodically go outside to check on the young boy. Around midnight, they realized their car had been stolen and called 911.
When the suspects who allegedly stole the car realized there was a sleeping baby in the backseat, they left him in a nearby park and drove away. Luckily, a park ranger happened to hear the shivering child while locking up for the night.
"He saw what he first mistook to be an animal, a small animal, walking through the parking lot," said HCSO Sgt. Ben Beall. "Turned out to be our 16 month-old child. The child was wearing a onesie, shivering cold.”
The boy was taken the hospital as a precaution.
"It's pretty chilly out here and a lot of wild animals running around out there. Things could've ended very differently had the park ranger not come by here and located the baby," Kerry Clopton with the Houston Police Department told KTRK.
About an hour later, deputies located the stolen car and following a brief chase took the suspects, identified as 19-year-old Vincent Leon Cannady and 18-year-old Jabari Jonathan Davis, into custody. Cannady was charged with auto theft and kidnapping while Davis was charged with kidnapping, auto theft, and felony evading.
Blue and Cook were also taken into custody and charged with child endangerment.