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Baby left in car on hot day
Rebekah Joy Lord

A Covington woman was arrested after leaving her her 10-month-old son in the car on a hot day as she went into the Georgia's Own Credit Union branch on Sigman Road.

Rebekah Joy Lord, 25, was charged with one count of reckless conduct.

According to police reports, around noon, April 11, a customer notified an off-duty Conyers Police Department officer who was working security for the branch that a baby had been left unattended in a tan Ford Taurus in the parking lot.

When the officer approached the car, he could see the engine or air system was not on and the front and passenger side rear windows were lowered about an inch. The baby was strapped into the car seat in direct sunlight. The temperature that day was about 74 degrees. 

"I was able to stick my fingers into the vehicle through the front window and felt that the air temperature felt significantly warmer inside of the vehicle," wrote the officer. The child was described as being awake and "very red on the upper part of his cheeks and forehead."

When the vehicle owner, Rebekah Lord, came out of the bank to the car, she said "Can I help you?"

The officer asked, "What are you doing leaving your kid in the car?"

Lord replied, "Well I didn't know it was against a law."

She told the officer she had stopped by to drop off a check for a payment on her husband's ATV and had not been inside long and that the baby had been asleep when she arrived. She also reportedly said she was watching the car from inside the bank.

When officers spoke to a bank teller inside the branch, the teller said there had been a long line of customers because there were only two tellers at the time and the line did not move very quickly.

Standing at the teller counter, the officer observed the view to the parking lot was obstructed with closed window blinds.

Lord was placed under arrest by an on-duty officer and a relative came to pick up the baby.

According to the National Traffic Safety Highway Administration, even cool temperatures in the 60s can cause the temperature to rise well above 110° Fahrenheit inside a car. The inside temperature can rise almost 20 degrees within the first 10 minutes.

The NTSHA reportedly documented at least 27 deaths a year of children from heat stroke after being left or trapped in the car on a hot day.