Store Manager Charged After Child Left In Car

By: Dave Spencer Email
By: Dave Spencer Email

As witnesses tried to rescue child, found locked in hot van, a manager at Bed Bath and Beyond refused to get involved. Now, she faces criminal charges.

Police say they were shocked to hear the reasons why 34-year-old Elizabeth Miller refused to help.

She told the witnesses and police that it was against the store policy to get involved in parking lot activities.

A spokesperson from the corporate offices of Bed Bath and Beyond tells 27 NEWSFIRST that they have no policy like that what so ever.

That prompted an investigation by police, an investigation that resulted in criminal charges of failure to report dependency, neglect or abuse.

Those misdemeanors could bring up to six months in jail and fines if she's convicted.

This all stems from an incident earlier this month when two shoppers noticed a three-year-old locked in a hot van, not responding when the two continuously tapped on the window.

Eventually, they were able to call police, but only after they tried to get help inside the department store on Nicholasville Road.

The mother of the baby, Tanuja Patel, has also been charged. She's expected back in court in October.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by ro Location: kentucky on Sep 15, 2008 at 07:01 PM
    i think it is sad that the store manager is being charged was anybody around to witness that she was asked to call the police but i agree that the mother should be charged to the max anybody that cares for another human being especially their own child would not leave them in a hot car they need to check and see what kind of drugs that she is on i think they should throw the book to her and leave the store manager alone
  • by Anonymous on Sep 15, 2008 at 12:33 PM
    Oh Patel is being charged since she's not a Dr., our system is so screwed up. Anyone who leaves a child in a hot car needs to be charged, I don't care if it's the President.
  • by Mom Location: KY on Sep 15, 2008 at 12:14 PM
    When this story came out, they said they would give more details about it on Thursday. I haven't seen or heard anything on the news about it either. Has anyone heard the "other details" they were talking about? I thought they meant as to why the mother was let go.
  • by Jeb Location: Ky on Sep 15, 2008 at 10:25 AM
    I'll bet if I set up a table in the parking lot of Bed, Bath & Beyond and starting selling the same items they had in their store but was selling them for half the price, they WOULD get involved in parking lot activities. I guess it depends on what type of activities would gain their interest...ya think?
  • by Kelly Location: Lex on Sep 15, 2008 at 05:31 AM
    I agree with the person who said the people who parked next to the van with their own cell phone in their car should be charged too. What, were they too cheap to dial 911 on their cell? Why didn't one of them stay there and keep an eye on the toddler while the other one went into the store to seek help? The whole thing is bazarre.
  • by ML Location: KY on Sep 14, 2008 at 09:26 PM
    Like another story on here, the mother was a doctor and she said she forgot to drop the child off at day care, that baby died and the mother wasn't charged. I guess this mother said the same thing, that she forgot. Both mothers should be locked up for good after they spend a few hours in a 100 degree car. Someone should have smacked some sense into this store manager. How stupid can people be??? Not to get involved in saving the childs life, was she afraid of the mother??? LOW LIFES IS WHAT BOTH OF THEM ARE!!!!
  • by Steve Location: Lexington on Sep 14, 2008 at 02:38 PM
    OK, obviously some of you don't read the story, don't watch the news, and just get on here to write stupid comments that don't relate to or are flawed to the situation. I've seen comments about how the manager shouldn't be charged and how come the mother doesn't get in trouble??? Well, idiot, the mother was arrested when it happened, the question remaining is why did the manager at BBB refuse to let them call 911 or call 911 herself. Now she has been charged and that's a good thing. Then there are those who say the "store" should be charged along with the manager. I would really like to see how you charge a building with a crime. What do you do, tape a citation on the wall and hope that it pays its fine? You can't charge the "store" with anything, but you can charge the person in charge of that store, which has now been done. The mother should never get her child back, and the manager of this store should be fired without question.
  • by mom of 3 Location: campton on Sep 14, 2008 at 05:37 AM
    There is a law against ignoring child abuse and the signs of child abuse. I think this includes any adult who ignores child abuse not just teachers, doctors, etc.
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Sep 13, 2008 at 07:34 AM
    I disagree. The STORE should not be charged. The manager should.
  • by Larry Location: Ky on Sep 13, 2008 at 05:15 AM
    If I have seen the child in the hot car or van, Which I have never seen one yet and I hope I never seen one. Any way if I ever see one, I will get the child out of the hot auto first then call the police. I love kids myself. I will bust the window out to get the kids out of the hot auto. I am sure the Law will be on my side. I would be saving the child life. The child might not make it, If we wait for the police to come. So the best thing to do is bust the window get them out and call the police ASAP, Then let the police take over from you. Them police will thank you for your part of helping and you will not be charge for saving a life.

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