Lexington County deputies have charged a woman with unlawful conduct toward a child after she left two children inside a car while she went into a store.
“Based on our investigation and witness statements, Maria Rivas-Velazques left a 5-year-old girl and a 23-month-old boy in her running car for about 12 minutes,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “The older child was seen jumping back and forth from the front seat to the back seat. The younger child was buckled in a car seat.”
Koon said Rivas-Velazques, a 34-year-old Lexington woman, was arrested in a store parking lot in the 2800 block of Augusta Highway in West Columbia. She’s being held in the Lexington County Detention Center while she awaits a bond hearing. The children were released to their father.
Under South Carolina law, unlawful conduct toward a child is punishable by a fine at the discretion of the court and up to 10 years in prison, or both.
According to Koon, the investigation into the incident is still open. Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers at 888-SC-CRIME (888-274-6372). Anonymous tips can be submitted at www.LexingtonSheriff.com.