Bond set for mother accused of leaving one-year-old in hot car in Florence

Bond set for mother charged after Florence County deputy breaks car window to save 1-year-old from hot car

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) – A baby was rescued from a hot, locked car, while the mother was inside a Florence Walmart, according to Florence County Chief Deputy Glen Kirby.

A call went out at 5:48 p.m. Tuesday about a baby girl inside the car in the parking lot on South Irby Street. To put into perspective, WMBF Chief Meteorologist Jamie Arnold says the outside temperature in Florence at that time was 99 degrees and the heat index was 102 degrees.

A Florence County deputy had to smash a car window to get a baby out of a hot car
A Florence County deputy had to smash a car window to get a baby out of a hot car (Source: Florence County Sheriff's Office)

A special operations deputy was nearby and responded within two minutes.

Kirby said the deputy had to break the car window to get the little girl out. The deputy was in the process of cooling the baby off when EMS arrived.

Kirby said the one-year-old baby, is doing pretty good and was able to drink water.

The mother, 38-year-old Jennifer Renee McElveen Wise, was charged with unlawful neglect, according to Kirby.

Authorities won’t say how long she was inside the Walmart.

At a Wednesday afternoon bond hearing, a $15,000 bond was set for Wise. The judge noted that she does not qualify for a public defender.

Wise was released shortly after her hearing.

According the website kidsandcars.org, so far this year one child died in South Carolina from a hot car.

Nationally, 18 children have died in hot cars so far this year.

Marla Blaker with McLeod Health’s Safe Kids said people need to do double check their car before leaving in order to keep children safe.

"Making sure they check their vehicle, look before you lock, always making sure you lock your car so your children can’t have access to it when you’re not around,” Blaker said.

Wise’s next court date is Sept. 18 at 8 a.m.

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