ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Tanisha Williams, 21, posted $1,000 bond on Wednesday after police charged her with child neglect. Officers said she left her 3-year-old daughter locked up in her car, engine off, windows up and went back to work at the Orlando Premium Outlet Mall.
Kevin Grant said he was in the parking lot getting something out of his trunk around 5:40 p.m. when he heard someone who needed help. “I heard a feint cry, and when I looked around I was pretty sure it was a child. The car [window] was tinted but you could see the hands up against the glass in the back seat,” said Grant. As he got closer, he says he could see the little girl was all by herself. “I could hear her saying I want my daddy, I want my daddy. She was sad, hot and sweating, little tears rolling out of her eyes. I have three children of my own. I’ve seen that look of I need some help,” said Grant.
Kevin says noticed the car had crank windows so he talked the little girl through rolling the window down. Then flagged down mall security. According to the arrest affidavit mall security surveillance video shows Williams getting out of the car at 4:50 p.m.
According to the arrest affidavit Williams didn’t walk out of the back of the Outlet Mall towards the parking lot until 6:30 p.m. Police were able to identify her by what she what she was seen wearing in the surveillance video. When police approached her officers say they asked her what she was doing, and that she said she was waiting for a ride.
According to the arrest sheet when officers pointed to her car she indicated that a babysitter was with her child while she was working. Investigators say when they told Williams surveillance video shows that she’s the only one who got out of the car, she confessed. According to the arrest affidavit Williams admitted she had no one to watch the 3-year-old during her work shift so she left her in the car and went to work. her shift, she locked her in the car and returned to work.
The Department of Children and Family Services is looking into this case. A spokesperson for DCF tells FOX 35 this appears to be a case of a young mother making a poor decision. The child is now in the care of a family friend. The spokesperson tells FOX 35 they are going to get Williams in touch with an agency that can help her find affordable childcare, even when she is not working after hours.