Arizona mom who left children in hot car regains custody

Posted Aug. 28, 2014, at 8:56 p.m.

PHOENIX — An Arizona woman who attracted national attention in March when she left her two young children in a hot car while at a job interview regained custody of them on Thursday, her lawyer said.

Shanesha Taylor, whose tear-stained mug shot was broadcast widely and generated nearly $115,000 in donations, will be allowed to take her two sons home from state care immediately and without restrictions under a ruling by a juvenile court judge, attorney Benjamin Taylor said.

“Today is a great day,” the lawyer told Reuters. “She is very happy that she will be reunited with her children and be able to care for them again.”

Taylor’s children were taken away after police found her two boys, a 6-month-old infant and a 2-year-old, alone in a locked vehicle in March, with temperatures inside surpassing 100 degrees F.

Her children were buckled into the backseat of the vehicle, sweating profusely and in apparent distress, police said. Taylor, 35, was interviewing for a job with an insurance company at the time.

In July, Maricopa County prosecutors agreed to drop child abuse charges against her if she completed parenting and substance abuse classes. She also was required to set up trust funds for her children.

Taylor’s case drew an outpouring of support from people across the nation. A New Jersey woman was so moved she started an online fundraising effort to help Taylor pay her bills.

Her attorney said Taylor had not yet found employment.

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