EVERGREEN PARK, IL - As temperatures hovered around 100, an Elgin woman left four mentally challenged adults under her care in a van outside the Walmart in Evergreen Park on Thursday while she went inside to shop, authorities said.
Evergreen Park police say Kathy Reed, 47, left the four adults she cared for at a Blue Island facility outside the store, 2500 W. 95th St., while she bought a grill and some charcoal.
“Obviously, they couldn’t take care of themselves,” Evergreen Park Police Sgt. Jack McCarthy said.
Reed is charged with criminal neglect of a person with disabilities, Cook County State’s Attorney spokesman Andy Conklin said.
Judge Terence B. Smith set her bail Friday morning at $20,000, he said. She returns to the county courthouse in Bridgeview on July 18.
About 3:45 p.m. Thursday, while the temperature was 99 and the heat index exceeded 110, Reed drove four of her clients to the store in a van without air conditioning, McCarthy said. She went in to do some shopping, leaving the four outside in the van for 37 minutes, McCarthy said. A good Samaritan noticed the vehicle with the four people inside and called police, McCarthy said.
The officer on the scene tried to speak with the people inside, but they weren’t able to communicate, McCarthy said.
Reed returned to the vehicle, carrying a grill and some charcoal, McCarthy said.
“We’re lucky that the complaintant called us,” he said. “It just gets too hot inside a car.”