SLIDELL, La. (WGNO) — The life of a two-week-old baby was almost cut short.
Police received a call from a concerned Walmart employee about an intoxicated woman, later identified as 37-year-old Ashley Kennedy, creating a disturbance at the store Thursday morning.
“Walmart employee said that she had seen the mother walking through the store kind of holding the baby nonchalant, you know, almost dropping her a couple of times,” said Slidell Police Officer Kelby Wuertz.
Before police could get to the store, they say Kennedy left with the baby. That’s when officers received another call about a hit and run on Gause Boulevard.
“We were unable to find her again, she had left the scene, she had fled,” said Officer Wuertz.
According to police, Kennedy returned to the Walmart, and employees called again when they realized the baby wasn’t with her. When Officer Wuertz arrived, he found the 16-day-old baby girl alone in the back of a car.
“She had blankets over her, the only thing I saw sticking out was her little foot. I mean, she was a tiny little thing,” said Office Weurtz.
That’s when Officer Wuertz made his way into the vehicle. He says once he was in, hot air was blowing on the baby.
“The air outside, which was 93 to 95 or something like, that was actually colder than what was blowing inside of the vehicle,” said Officer Wuertz.
Officer Wuertz said at first she wasn’t responsive, and he feared the worst.
“Then I tapped her on her little lip and she kind of opened up her eyes,”
He rushed the baby into his air-conditioned police car before EMS responded.
“That’s why we put on this uniform every day. The whole reason I started this job and this career was to help other people,” said Officer Wuertz.
Kennedy was arrested and is facing several charges including cruelty to juveniles, third offense DWI with child endangerment, and hit and run.
As for the baby, she was taken into state custody and is expected to be okay.