UPDATE | Woman honored for helping save baby from hot car

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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 8/9/19 @ 6:25 p.m.
A woman is being honored for her life-saving actions, credited with helping save a 3-month-old baby's life.

Betty Foster is honored at a Kanawha County Commission meeting for helping save a baby from a hot car.

Betty Foster was recognized during Thursday night's Kanawha County Commission meeting, given an award for her actions on July 20.

On that day, Betty says she was at Walmart in Southridge. She'd just dropped-off her son and his fiance so they could go in the store.

She says she was on the way to the car to go pick them up when she heard something that she couldn't ignore.

"It was like this pitiful cry and I thought, no, there is a baby somewhere, somewhere around here there is a baby," said Foster. "So I started walking toward the car. The car wasn't even parked in the same aisle I was in. It was the next aisle over. I just walked until I heard him cry and I got the right vehicle."

Those cries were coming from a three-month-old baby boy, left alone in a hot car on the hottest day of the summer.

"I just started telling him I'm sorry," said Foster. "I just started talking to the baby and telling him it was going to be OK, it was going to be okay."

Foster quickly called 911. Firefighters and police arrived on the scene within three-minutes of the call.

Crews say the baby was soaked in sweat, but otherwise okay. They say the temperature inside the car that day was around 129 degrees.

"I had doubts in my mind that he was going to be OK," said Foster. "I was worried about him. I thought about him. I prayed for him that night."

Her prayers haven't stopped for that little baby and the memories of that day haven't faded.

"Everyday I think about him," said Foster. "I don't even know his name but I still envision his little face in my mind."

Foster says it is a miracle she even heard the baby crying in the first place.

"I'm very hard of hearing," said Foster. "God wanted me to be there to hear that child. The windows were up on that vehicle. How else would I have heard him? I don't hear a lot of things, but I did. It was just like I had that baby in my arms. I could hear him cry that well. I just feel like this is the work of God. If anybody needs praise, it's him."

Monica Keaton, 35, is facing charges for allegedly leaving the child alone in the car while she went into the store.

Keaton is charged with child neglect with significant/substantial risk of injury or death. The infant is now in custody of the state and is reported to be in good condition.

"In my mind, I can't comprehend how you can forget a baby," said Foster. "How could you do that?"

Emergency crews say across the U.S. in 2019, 26 infants or children have died after being left in hot cars.

Kanawha County emergency officials said during Thursday's meeting they felt that Foster helped that little baby from becoming a part of that statistic.



UPDATE 8/2/19 @ 2:52 p.m.
A woman accused of leaving a 3-month-old baby in a hot car appeared in court Friday.

Monica Keaton, 35, of Charleston, waived her right to a preliminary hearing. That means her case will be sent to circuit court. We are working to confirm her next court date.

South Charleston Police say Keaton left the baby boy in a car while she ran into Walmart. It happened around 5:30 p.m. July 20 at the Southridge Walmart.

Police say there was a report of a newborn child in a vehicle with no adult. When they arrived on scene, they found the baby "sweating profusely" in a car seat soaked with sweat. They say it was around 129 degrees inside the vehicle ten minutes after the baby was removed and the doors were opened.

Keaton was arrested for child neglect with significant/substantial risk of injury or death. The infant is now in custody of the state and is reported to be in good condition.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

ORIGINAL STORY 7/20/19
South Charleston Police say Monica Keaton, 35, of Charleston, has been arrested after leaving a 3-month-old baby boy in a car while running into Walmart.

According to the South Charleston Police Department, the incident took place around 5:30 p.m. Saturday evening in the parking lot of the Southridge Walmart in South Charleston.

Police say there was a report of a newborn child in a vehicle with no adult. When arriving on scene, they found the baby "sweating profusely" in a car seat soaked with sweat. South Charleston fire Department and Medics arrived on scene and took the baby to the hospital.

South Charleston Fire Department checked the vehicle's temperature ten minutes after the infant was removed and the doors were open. They say it was around 129 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keaton was arrested for child neglect with significant/substantial risk of injury or death. The infant is now in custody of the state and is reported to be in good condition.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.