SALT LAKE CITY — Police believe a mother left her toddler alone in a car for nearly two hours so she could go into the homeless shelter to get a crack pipe.
Akilah Mandisa Davis, 36, was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of felony child abandonment and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Salt Lake police say Davis parked her car near 500 West and 300 South about 5 p.m. and walked away, leaving her 21-month-old daughter in a car seat in the back.
A bystander who observed Davis get out of her car and walk toward the Road Home called police 30 minutes later after discovering that the woman had not returned and there was a child in the back seat, according to police.
The witness also flagged down a Utah Transit Authority officer, who broke into the car to get the toddler out, according to the jail report. The child was not injured.
Salt Lake police searched the area, including the homeless shelter, for the mother. When they couldn't find her, officers waited near the car for her to return. Just after 7 p.m., Davis returned to her car.
"(Davis) admitted to intentionally leaving the child alone in the vehicle," according to the jail report. During that time, she went to the shelter, the report states.Comment on this story
When police arrested Davis, she had a "glass crack pipe with burnt drug residue" that she "admitted to obtaining while at the shelter," the report states.
Salt Lake police could not say Thursday whether Davis was impaired when she returned to her car.
The shelter is listed as the home address on the registration of Davis' vehicle, according to police.
The child was placed into protective custody with the Utah Division of Child and Family Services.
Davis has previously been convicted twice of misdemeanor shoplifting and multiple counts of driving without a license in 2011 and 2012, according to court records.