Woman arrested for leaving newborn at Walmart linked to hot car death of toddler in 2009

(WAFB) - Kyandrea Thomas, 34, who was arrested Saturday, December 24 by the New Roads Police Department after allegedly leaving her newborn infant in a trash can at the Walmart in New Roads, was also arrested in 2009 in connection with the hot car death of a toddler.

It's a crime police are calling senseless.

"It's a hard thing to work any time of the year, but especially at Christmas time," said Shael Stringer, spokesman for the New Roads Police Department.

Police believe Thomas gave birth to a baby girl in the store's bathroom before throwing her in the trash and leaving the store. Pointe Coupee Chief Deputy Coroner Joe Gannon said had police not arrived when they did, the baby would be dead.

"Anytime an infant is left unattended for the first four hours or so of its life, it's life threatening, so I feel that the baby probably had minutes to seconds to live," Gannon said.

While it remains unclear why a mother would abandon her child, police say it is not the first time Thomas has been arrested.

"I think as the story unfolds, you'll be surprised at what you find," Gannon said.

Court records indicate Thomas was linked to another horrible crime in 2009.

Thomas and another woman, Michelle Veals, were both indicted on negligent homicides charges in connection with the death of Damiyn McElveen, 3. Criminal charges for the owner of the daycare, Wanda Connor, were dropped in 2012. Thomas and Veals were both sentenced to five years of probation and 10,000 hours of community service after pleading guilty in the case.

The two women were employed at a daycare called Wanda's Kids World in Baton Rouge. The young girl was found dead in a van on July 1, 2009 after being left inside for six hours with temperatures outside of 98 degrees.

The daycare was closed following McElveen's death.

Thomas faces attempted second degree murder charges for abandoning her newborn in Walmart. The baby has been given the temporary name, Olivia, by the first responders who rescued her. She is currently listed in stable condition at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge.

Thomas was transferred from the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison to the Pointe Coupee Parish Jail on Tuesday morning. She is currently incarcerated there awaiting a bond hearing.


Copyright 2016 WAFB. All rights reserved.