Police: Laurel Co. woman leaves kid in car while visiting mom in jail

Brittany Downs is in the Laurel County Detention Center.

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Sheriff's deputies were called to the lobby of the Laurel Co. Detention Center because a woman was apparently having trouble with the simple task of putting money on her mother's commissary card.

"She was fumbling around and it appeared she was intoxicated," said Gilbert Acciardo of the Laurel County Sheriff's office of the actions of Brittany Downs, 26, who was visiting her mother in jail while police say she left her own child alone outside in a hot car.

Deputies followed Downs back to her car where they said they found her 7 old son and a dog alone in the car, where they had been for 30 minutes.

"Studies have shown that in 30 minutes it would have been more than 30 degrees of the temperature, so it would have been 100 degrees," said Acciardo. He said at 3:20 that Thursday it was about 75 degrees outside, with the sun shining.

Downs was arrested and charged with wanton endangerment and DUI. Police say the car was locked, the windows rolled up and no air conditioning was on. She was charged with DUI because police say she was in the process of getting into the car while clearly intoxicated. But police say the more serious charges deal with the act of leaving the boy alone in the car.

"Very definitely a 7 year old is not capable of being in a vehicle for any period of time. Not even for going into a store and getting a gallon of milk. You should never leave a child that age unattended in a vehicle," said Acciardo.

Down's son was checked out and was put in the care of other relatives. Downs was released from jail and is now under home incarceration. WKYT tried reaching out to her to get her side of the story, but she was not available.

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