Children left in hot car for nearly 30 minutes while mother applied for job

BALLWIN, MO (KPLR) - A mother was applying for a job at a fast food restaurant while her children were left in a hot car for nearly 30 minutes, Ballwin Police said.

Warrants have been issued for Carlita Buford, 20. Buford faces two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

“She came out to the McDonald’s for a job interview,” Ballwin Lt. Kevin Lorne said. “She told the officers that she didn’t anticipate it taking it more than a minute or two.”

The interview lasted nearly a half-hour. The children, a three-year-old and a nine-month-old infant, were left in the vehicle with the engine turned off, he said.

A Ballwin patrol officer came to the rescue. He happened to be driving past the restaurant when he noticed movement in the vehicle.

“He was able to unlock the car. The windows were cracked about six inches,” Lorne said.

The temperature inside the car was much greater than the 95 degrees outside that June day, Lorne said. The children were under visible stress, with the toddler having an elevated body core temperature.

In 2016 alone, 27 children have died from heatstroke – specifically, being left in hot vehicles, according to

“I would urge parents to never leave their children or even their pet for that matter in a vehicle, for any amount of time, especially on a hot summer day,” Lorne said.

The warning applies to days absent extreme temperatures. A warm, summer day in the 80’s can create lead to a tragic situation, he added.

“The sun’s rays still heat up the interior of that car. It may not heat up as fast as the day in question. But eventually the temperatures will reach 120 to 130 degrees.”