Humble, Texas couple, Kimberly Cook and Anthony Blue charged with child endangerment after leaving toddler in running car which was stolen while playing slots at convenience store.
Kimberly Cook, 21, and Anthony Blue, 29 left their car at a gas station Sunday night, only to return 30 minutes later to find their vehicle stolen from the parking lot, authorities said.
Miraculously the child was found safe, albeit – wandering about a Harris County park nearly 20 miles away, shivering in the cold, KTRK reported.
The 16-month-old child was left sleeping inside a Chrysler 300 outside a Shell Gas Mart in Humble, northeast of Houston, around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office reported in a news release.
The couple initially told deputies they left their child in the car to run into the gas station to pick up conveniences, and when they came out, the vehicle – which had been left unlocked, was gone.
‘It’s pretty chilly out here and a lot of wild animals running around out there. Things could’ve ended very differently….’
Identified as the individuals who allegedly stole the couple’s car were Jabari Davis, 18, and Vincent Cannady, 19, KHOU reported. Davis was charged with kidnapping, auto theft and felony evading. Cannady was charged with auto theft and kidnapping.
According to authorities, Davis and Cannady are on deferred adjudication for previous felony offenses. Authorities said both had fled from the Harris County Young Men About Change facility earlier in the day.
According to KRPC, the gas store store clerk said Cook and Blue were playing slot machines for nearly 30 minutes while the child was asleep in his car seat in the running vehicle. The clerk said the couple are frequent customers and sometimes bring the child into the store.
When Cook and Blue left the store, they realized their child and vehicle were missing. Authorities were called to search for the stolen car.
About 12:25 a.m., a ranger at McGregor Park, located 17 miles from the Shell station, was locking the park when he noticed the toddler walking through the parking lot, shivering in his onesie.
‘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,’ Officer Kerry Clopton, of the Houston Police Department, told reporters.
Harris County deputies and Houston police were able to locate the stolen vehicle, and after a brief chase, apprehended the two men around 1 a.m., KPRC reported.
Cook and Blue were reunited with their son at the police station before being charged with child endangerment. The couple remained in custody, each held on $10,000 bond each.
The couple’s child has since been released to Child Protective Services.