WALKER, LA (WAFB) - A Denham Springs man and a St. Amant woman were arrested Friday night by Walker Police after a 6-month-old child was found locked in a hot car in the Walker Walmart parking lot.
Police say 35-year-old Billy Arthur Henry, Jr. and 32-year-old Lana Wallace Henry were arrested on charges of child cruelty, possession of controlled dangerous substances and related offenses. Police believe the couple was high on a number of drugs.
Captain John Sharp with the Walker Police Department says they were called to the parking lot around 7:15 p.m. The child was in her car seat and crying hysterically. The outside temperature was in the mid to upper 80's, so the temperature inside the vehicle was potentially much higher.
Police forced their way into the vehicle to rescue the child and after making sure she was uninjured, the Office of Child Services was called.
"After getting the baby out of the locked car, and seeing that the child was hungry and needed to be changed, Walker Corporal Mitchell Fouse purchased diapers, formula and a clean outfit for the child, using his own funds. He then gave the baby a bottle and calmed the child while waiting for OCS representatives to arrive," said Captain Sharp.
While officials were trying to find the owner of the vehicle, a man and woman walked toward the vehicle. They admitted to being the parents of the baby. During the investigation, police were able to determine the child had been in the vehicle for nearly an hour. Both parents were then placed under arrest for child cruelty.
"While speaking with the subjects, Corporal Fouse observed that both Mr. and Mrs. Henry were unsteady on their feet and had slurred speech, leading Corporal Fouse to suspect that both subjects were impaired," Captain Sharp reported.
"The subjects, who had no identification, were then questioned separately concerning their identities and the reason for leaving the infant unattended in the locked vehicle. Both subjects expressed surprise when asked about the baby and neither remembered bringing the infant with them to Walmart," said Sharp.
During the investigation, the man and woman admitted to being under the influence of Oxycodone. When police searched the vehicle, they found synthetic marijuana. A quantity of Adderall, crushed oxymorphone (Opana), and a syringe were found in Lana Henry's purse.
"It's one of those things that make you go 'what were they thinking?'" said Captain Sharp.
Police also learned the couple has three other children. Reports say they were not cooperative about where their other children were, but admitted that the kids were with family members. Police say the couple wouldn't tell them where the children were or who they were with.
Finally Mr. Henry told officers his children were at home; the house with the blue door near a tire store. When the house was located, officers found the other three children with a member of the Henry family.
One of the children found in the home is a twin of the baby found in the vehicle. The other two children are 10 and 11 years old. All three children at the house were taken into protective custody by OCS.
The parents were taken to the Walker Police Department. When they arrived, officers found Xanax on the floor of the police vehicle. Ms. Henry admitted to officers she dropped the drugs on the floor.
Both were taken to the Livingston Parish Detention Center for booking.
Billy Arthur Henry, Jr., was booked with cruelty to juveniles; possession of schedule I CDS (synthetic marijuana); and disturbing the peace. He is currently being held in the Livingston Parish Detention Center with bail set at $26,000.
Lana Wallace Henry was booked on charges of cruelty to juveniles; possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of schedule I CDS (synthetic marijuana); two counts of possession of schedule II CDS (oxymorphone & adderall); possession of schedule IV CDS (xanax); possession of a legend drug without a prescription; and disturbing the peace. Lana henry's bail was set at $56,500. In addition, following the booking process, a quantity of schedule II CDS (adderall) was found hidden on Lana Henry's person, resulting in additional charges of possession of schedule II CDS (adderall) and introduction of contraband into a penal institution. Bail on those charges has been set at $45,000. She remains in the Livingston Parish Detention Center in lieu of bail.
The case remains under investigation and additional charges are possible.