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A Harrisburg woman left her three grandchildren in her car unattended while she went to the dentist in Springettsbury Township, according to police.

Police say Marnella Witherspoon went to her appointment while her three grandchildren sat in her car with the windows down on an 80 degree day.

Witherspoon, 48, of the 1500 block of State Street, faces charges of endangering welfare of children and leaving children unattended in vehicle. 

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Left kids: Springettsbury Township Police were called to a parking lot in the 2300 block of East Market Street about 4:15 p.m. June 21. 

A woman told 911 that there were two children, one of whom was screaming, in the back of a black Ford Fusion, court documents state.

Officer Cory Landis arrived and found three young children in the Ford. Two of them were 2, and the other was 6, according to officials. 

All the windows were down, the engine was off, and there was no shade for the car, Landis wrote in charging documents. The temperature was about 80 degrees at the time, police said.

The oldest grandchild told police that the children were waiting for their grandmother to finish and then take them to McDonald's, according to officials.

Police say the children seemed to be in good spirits at the time. 

An employee at a nearby store told police that around 3:30 p.m. she saw the car with the children, and it appeared they were alone, officials said. She could see and hear children and knew no adults were inside, police said. 

The employee told her co-worker about it, and the co-worker called police after she didn't see any adults check on the car, according to police.

Spoke to Witherspoon: Landis waited with the children until another officer arrived to watch them, then Landis went inside the dentist's office, charging documents state.

Inside, he found Witherspoon, who said she had an appointment at 3 p.m. that day but she could not be taken right away, officials said.

Witherspoon told police she checked on the children three times between 3 p.m. and when she went in for her appointment, charging documents state.

She was not aware that Landis had been near the car, charging documents state.

Police filed charges on July 12. She is awaiting a preliminary hearing.

A number could not be found for her, and she could not be reached for comment. She does not have an attorney listed.

Witherspoon will have bail set in the case before her preliminary hearing, according to District Judge Barry Bloss' office. Her hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 4. 

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.

 

 

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