Police: North Alabama woman left baby in closet

Police: North Alabama woman left baby in closet

July 12th, 2013 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

SHEFFIELD, Ala. - A north Alabama woman was arrested after police said she left her baby alone in a closet for more than an hour.

The TimesDaily reported Thursday that Ashley Renea Coker, 22, of Sheffield faces child abuse and drug charges.

Police reports indicate a neighbor called authorities worried about the 1-year-old's safety after hearing him cry for over an hour. Officers went to the apartment and didn't find anyone at home.

Coker arrived with her 3-year-old as housing officials arrived to open the door, police said. The baby was found buckled in a rocker seat in a bedroom closet and the boy's diaper -along with the seat he was buckled in - was soaked with urine, police said.

"She said they had only been out of the apartment for 15 minutes and were at the end of the apartment complex," Sheffield Police Chief Greg Ray said. "The neighbor said the baby had been screaming and crying for an hour and our guys had been there longer than 15 minutes when she showed up."

Police say Coker told investigators she saw nothing wrong with leaving the baby alone for a few minutes because he was asleep and she didn't want to wake him.

It wasn't immediately clear if Coker had a lawyer.

County authorities took custody of the baby and the 3-year-old.