BOONE COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — A Lebanon woman was arrested and charged with felony neglect more than three months after allegedly leaving her special needs daughter alone in a vehicle outside a cafe.
Doris Lindsay, 54, is accused of placing her adult daughter in a situation that endangered her life or health, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by News 8.
Police described her daughter Rebekah Lindsay, 28, as nonverbal and unable to care for herself.
On May 20, a 911 caller reported seeing a “child” alone in a vehicle outside Bekah’s Westside Cafe, located at 212 S Lebanon St.
A detective was dispatched to investigate and found Rebekah sitting alone in an SUV registered to her mother, authorities said.
The engine was off, the vehicle was locked, the windows were closed and two “sunshades” had been placed over the rear windows, according to the affidavit.
“I looked inside the car and could see that there was a female sitting, seat belted, in the rear passenger seat,” the investigating officer said. “Her head was tilted to the side. When I looked from the driver’s side front window of the vehicle, I could see that the female subject had spit crackers of some kind down the front of [herself].”
When the detective questioned Doris, who was working inside the cafe, she claimed her daughter had been in the vehicle for 10 minutes and would be picked up by somebody in “1 to 10 minutes,” according to charging documents.
“I told Doris that I would stand by and wait to make sure that the child was not locked in the vehicle and at that point, she told me that she would just go home,” the officer said.
Authorities reported the incident to Adult Protective Services.
Doris Lindsay was arrested and charged in late August. She was released Friday from Boone County Jail on $500 bond, according to online jail records.
A friend who requested not to be identified in this report called the arrest and felony charge “unfair” in an interview with News 8. She described Doris as a “loving mother” who she would trust with her own children.
“Doris… ran an in-home daycare for many years,” the friend said Tuesday. “She’s helped raise so many people’s children.”
Doris was working two jobs in May and brought her daughter to the cafe because her part-time caregiver had a scheduling conflict, according to the friend.
“People were saying, ‘Well, why didn’t she bring her into the diner with her?’ To leave her in the car for 10 or 20 minutes was not a huge deal because everybody knew exactly who she was and who she belonged to,” she said.
Doris Lindsay and her attorney could not be reached for comment.
Bekah’s Westside Cafe is named after Rebekah Lindsay, according to family friends.