An Indianapolis couple were charged with child neglect after leaving their two children locked in their SUV with no air conditioning with temperatures in the mid-90s while they shopped at Walmart, police said. 

Lawrence police estimate the temperature inside the Ford SUV had reached 125 degrees when the children were discovered by a passerby in the parking lot who dialed 911 around 7 p.m., per court documents reviewed by Fox 59

Parents Mirianne Pierre and Watson Joseph, both 31, were arrested and booked into the Marion County jail on two counts of neglect of a dependent, the outlet reported. They have both posted bond since their Monday arrest, according to online records.

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Watson Joseph

Watson Joseph, 31, pictured, and Marianna Pierre, also 31, were both charged with neglect of a dependent on Monday evening, according to the Lawrence (Indiana) Police Department. (Marion County Jail)

One of the two children was “sweating profusely from the head and neck” when they were rescued, while the other appeared dazed, according to the outlet. Police said both were placed in Department of Child Services custody.

Both parents arrived at their car around the same time as police and were “confused about what was going on,” according to a probable cause affidavit reviewed by Law & Crime.

Pierre reportedly told detectives she was in the store for a “little bit” and Joseph joined her inside to help her carry some heavy items. She claimed that her SUV ran for an additional five minutes without the key nearby, according to the documents.

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Marianne Pierre

Police said Mirianne Pierre, pictured, and Watson Joseph appeared “confused about what was happening” when they came out of the store to find police and first responders. (Marion County Jail)

But surveillance footage reviewed by police revealed that the couple walked inside the store around 6:27 p.m. — the children were left alone for 45 minutes, per the affidavit.

Paramedics examined the children at the scene and both were fine, other than unusually high blood pressure for their ages, police said.

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Walmart parking lot

Police estimated that the inside of the SUV, parked in the pictured Walmart lot, reached 125 degrees in the 45 minutes the couple left the children unattended. (Google Maps)

Although the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) didn’t investigate the case, they reminded parents to never leave their children unattended in vehicles.

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“We never want to leave our kids unattended, much less when it’s hot outside. The moment we shut that engine off the temperatures rise really rapidly,” said IMPD Sgt. Anthony Patterson. “Once those doors are shut the temperatures rise really quickly. So you may feel it’s only a couple minutes, but to the person or child inside the car, that’s an eternity. It gets really hot really fast.”

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