Family defends suspects accused of leaving child in hot car, call incident a “pure accident”

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OLATHE, Kan. — A metro mother says that her kids made a mistake but aren't criminals after they allegedly left their 2-year-old cousin alone in a hot car.

Marques Anderson, 23, and his 24-year-old sister Mylesha Anderson both face felony aggravated endangerment of a child charges after allegedly leaving their young cousin asleep in the back seat of Mylesha Anderson's sweltering car last Saturday in a Merriam shopping center parking lot. Police say that the siblings were inside a cell phone store while the child baked in the car.

Charges in child trapped in hot car case.

Charges in child trapped in hot car case.

The child was previously misidentified as the suspects' niece.

But the siblings' mother, Leslie Anderson, say that her children aren't criminals and would never intentionally leave anyone alone in a hot, locked car. She says that they both regret what happened.

"They're not bad people, they're not criminals," said Leslie Anderson. "This was a pure accident."

Leslie Anderson says that her children went into the store to get a phone when they realized that they forgot the child. But by the time they got back to the car, police say that a frantic manager at a nearby shoe store was using a tire iron to bust out the car window and rescue the crying, sweat-dripping child.

The incident was captured by a bystander in a cell-phone video.

"My heart fell to my feet for all of them," said Delores Smith, the suspects' grandmother.

"They are beating themselves up about this situation since it happened, and like I said my children are not criminals by no means," said Leslie Anderson. "They are good people."

Relatives say that the child was not injured in the incident, and is now with her father. Both Marques and Mylesha Anderson remain in the Johnson County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bond.

"I know they have to deal with the consequences, I'm not saying a slap on the wrist," said Leslie Anderson. "But I think the charges are very severe. They are too severe."