MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

March 29, 2014

Woman held after toddlers found alone in auto

City resident allegedly left kids in running car

A Muskogee woman was arrested on a complaint of child endangerment after she allegedly left two toddlers in a vehicle with the motor running and the doors unlocked, said Cpl. Michael Mahan.

Ashley Gross, 22, was arrested at approximately 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Curt’s parking lot on West Shawnee Bypass.

“An individual observed the driver leave a small child and go into the store,” Mahan said. “It turns out, there were two children.”

The witness watched Gross go into Hobby Lobby and leave the maroon Chevrolet HHR running. The witness, concerned for the child’s safety, kept an eye on the vehicle for about 20 minutes before calling 911, Mahan said.

“She was afraid someone might try to get in,” he said. “When the officers arrived they found the vehicle was unlocked, and there were two children in the vehicle.”

The children, ages 2 and 3, were in the back seat of the vehicle. One of the rear passenger windows was covered with plastic. Police contacted the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, and the children were placed with friends of the family, Mahan said.

In addition to the child endangerment complaint, Gross was wanted on an outstanding petty larceny warrant, he said.

She is being held in the Muskogee County/City Detention Facility on $10,000 bond.

Reach Elizabeth Ridenour at (918) 684-2929 or eridenour@muskogeephoenix.com.

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