Mom Left Kids In Locked Car To Go To Arizona State Fair, Police Say

Leaving kids in a hot car to attend a carnival? Not amusing.

A New Mexico mother is facing a roller coaster of potential legal troubles after allegedly leaving three small children in a locked car to attend the Arizona State Fair.

Colleen Manuelito, 28, was arrested Sunday after three kids, ages 6, 3 and 1, were found in her car with no air conditioning and the windows rolled up, according to KPHO-TV.

A fairgoer saw the children and notified authorities. An Arizona State Trooper who removed the kids from the car reported the outside temperature was 87 degrees in his report.

The children were taken to a first aid station at the fair. A short time later, Manuelito made contact with authorities to report that her door was unlocked and no kids were in the car, according to the station.

Authorities said Manuelito told them that her ex-boyfriend was the man who left the kids in the car. She claimed that she had been at a mall when the incident happened, according to AZCentral.

But when investigators asked Manuelito's 6-year-old daughter who had left them in the car, she replied, "Mommy did."

Police said Manuelito eventually admitted leaving the kids in the car, but blamed it on her ex-boyfriend because she was angry at him and embarrassed about what happened at the fair, according to the police report.

The ex-boyfriend did not attend the State Fair on the same days as Manuelito, according to court documents.

Manuelito was booked on several charges of child endangerment and one count of false reporting to law enforcement, according to The children are now in the custody of the Arizona Department of Child Safety.

Manuelito is no longer in custody, but a judge ordered her not to have unsupervised contact with her children. She is allowed to speak to them by phone.

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