Fitchburg woman accused of leaving infant in hot car while she was inside Leominster mall

A Fitchburg woman is due in court today to face a charge of reckless child endangerment filed by Leominster police after they found a 5-month-old infant inside the woman’s locked car in The Mall at Whitney Field on Sunday.

Outside temperatures were in the low 80s and Leominster police officers reported that the infant was soaked with sweat when mall security forced open the doors of the car around 5:45 p.m. Sunday, Leominster police said today.

The woman was identified as Ruth Allende, 31, of Fitchburg. She also faces a charge of disorderly conduct. The doors of the car were locked and all windows were closed, police said.

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When Allende emerged from the mall and spotted police surrounding her car, she “caused a huge scene’’ and insisted to police that she had lost the child inside the mall, not left her behind in the locked car, said Leominster Police Sergeant James Marois Jr.

The child was taken to an area hospital where doctors declared she was unharmed, Marios said.

He said Allende was taking care of the child for a relative and that the Department of Children and Families, the state child protection agency, was notified of the incident.

Allende is be arraigned in Leominster District Court.