A Lenexa woman was in court on Tuesday afternoon on an aggravated child abandonment charge.
The 37-year-old woman is accused of leaving her 2-year-old toddler alone inside their home while she went to class at Johnson County Community College.
Lenexa police arrested Alejandra Depilar Pilar Garces on Monday morning. She faced a Johnson County judge at 1:30 p.m. Her bond is set at $5,000.
A neighbor saw the boy alone via a window and dialed 911.
Meia Turner said she was out sweeping the sidewalk. She saw Garces drive away. And then she saw the horrifying sight of the crying boy standing at the window.
She said she went to the door, knocked and rang the doorbell, but no one responded. After waiting for about 30 minutes, she then dialed 911.
Officers entered the home through an open back door. The front door had been barricaded with a chair and a space heater was on in the "high" position, according to a police report.
Temperatures reached into the 80s in the Kansas City area on Monday.
"When the police came, there were neighbors coming out and saying the kid almost got hit by a car the day before," Turner said.
She said she was dismayed at how careless the mother was.
However, another neighbor said Garces is a loving and caring mother who is just desperate to make a better life for herself and her son.
"I think she just got in a bad situation for her to have done that," Rhonda Schademann said. "I don't think in any way she'd ever want to harm her child."
She has watched the little boy before when his mother needed it at the last minute.
"She was desperate. She didn't know me all that well but she knew of me in the neighborhood and asked me to take care of him and I did for the afternoon," she said.
Garces allegedly admitted to leaving her son alone on three separate occasions, according to the police report.
The boy was placed in the care of social workers. His mother is unemployed.
Garces is due back in court on May 15.
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