A single mother facing a difficult financial situation got arrested when she left her daughter in a vehicle to attend a job fair.
On Tuesday, July 2, Amber Collier’s public defender pleaded with Broward County Judge Jackie Powell for leniency in his client’s case after police found her 4-year-old daughter alone inside an air-conditioned vehicle with a cellphone for emergencies for more than an hour, reports WPLG.
The 25-year-old part-time college student was seen on surveillance video leaving her daughter in the car so she could look for employment at a job fair.
As Fox News reports, police were called to the woman’s vehicle after someone reported a child locked inside, sitting the back seat.
According to police, when they arrived the child was “visibly upset.”
Collier was arrested on neglect charges, and the child was taken from her. According to WPLG, the mom has a clean record and no prior allegations of neglect.
Collier’s public defender told Judge Powell that the woman loves her daughter very much and was just trying to do whatever she could to get employment to support her family. He said while asking for a reduced bond:
“Financially, right now, she’s going through a tough time and she wants to work.”
However, the prosecutor was quick to point out the amount of time the little girl was left alone:
“My concern is not that the child would have overheated. My concern is, in that period, over an hour, anybody could have gone to that car and taken that child.”
People following Collier’s case felt bad for the mom. One commenter wrote in the comments section of WPLG:
… I feel so bad being a single parent is no joke. I hope they really spare this one time.
As a mom I know how dangerous what she did is but as a working mom I also understand the risk she took. It is hard to find someone to watch your kids, you can have 4 plans line up and still not have someone to watch your kids a the last minute. I have lost jobs, job interviews and promotions at work because of not having someone to take care of my kids. I bet she thought the interview wouldn’t take long but sometimes you have to wait your turn or your name to get called or for whoever is doing the interview to be ready. Imagine dying to check up on your child but desperate enough to need the job, that most have been agonizing. …
Judge Powell imposed a no-contact order. Collier now awaits a ruling from family court after her bond was set at $2,500.
Child protective services are now involved in the matter.