A woman who left a baby in an unattended vehicle for nearly two and a half hours Wednesday is charged with child neglect without great bodily harm by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
The OCSO received a 9-1-1 call around 12:30 Wednesday afternoon from a witness who removed the crying infant from the unlocked, running van, which had minimal cooling. The child had been strapped into a car seat in the back seat.
The infant was determined to be unharmed after being evaluated by EMS.
OCSO Deputies arrested 31-year old Chanice Eppinger of Fort Walton Beach after she came out of the Goodwill store to say she had left the baby unattended while she went inside to do community service hours for probation. Deputies say Eppinger initially gave false information about the amount of time the infant was left unattended in the running van, however video surveillance ultimately revealed the time period was from around 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.