Authorities arrested a woman who they say left her twin two-year-old boys in her car for at least 45 minutes in the middle of the day while she did some shopping with her five-year-old daughter at the Calle Real shopping center in Goleta on Tuesday. According to Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Erik Raney, a passerby saw the children in 47-year-old Pamela Dillman’s car, and after spending 15 minutes trying to find out whose car it was, called 9-1-1.
Sheriff’s deputies arrived to find the two toddlers locked inside the vehicle, restrained in their car seats and apparently asleep. After breaking into the car, the deputies found the two kids to be “lethargic” and sweating, and took the two to Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, Raney said in a statement. Deputies waited for someone to return to the car, which Dillman did, 30 minutes after they first arrived. “Based on the temperature both inside and outside of the car, the apparent length of time the children were left alone, and the physical condition of the children, deputies determined that the mother placed the children in a situation that could have resulted in serious bodily injury or death,” Raney said. Dillman was booked in County Jail and held on $100,000 bond. Child Welfare Services were notified, as well as the children’s father, who took the children when they were released from the hospital.
“Leaving children unattended for even a short time can result in tragic consequences, especially in the warmer summer months,” Raney said.