Mom leaves sleeping 2-year-old in mall parking lot, Lake Wales Police say

LAKE WALES - A 26-year-old mother was charged with neglect after she left her 2-year-old toddler in the car while she went to the Eagle Ridge Mall Friday, according to a Lake Wales Police.

Officers responded to calls of a child being left in a vehicle unattended at 4:10 p.m.

Witnesses were standing near the car, a CMG Sonoma, where the child had been left.

The vehicle's windows were slightly rolled down and the child was sleeping.

The mother, Malaika Meliat, told Officer McCalley she left the child because she didn't want to wake her up.

She said she didn't feel as though she did anything wrong because she was only gone long enough to make a return.

Officials determined that the child had been left alone for 20 minutes.

Meliat was placed under arrest for Child Neglect and the Department of Children and Families was notified.

The child was not harmed. 

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