Louisiana Man Left Toddler in Car to Work Night Shift At Walmart, Police Say

A man has been arrested after allegedly leaving his 2-year-old son in a car to go work a night shift at Walmart.

Jamar Davis, 30, has been charged with child desertion after allegedly leaving his son in his car overnight to work a shift from 11 p.m. to 7.30 a.m. at Walmart in Kenner, Louisiana, a police spokesman told Newsweek.

Police attended the Walmart at 300 West Esplanade Avenue at around 7.40 a.m. on Monday morning after a customer reported finding a child wandering in the parking lot, the Kenner Police Department said.

On arriving on the scene, an officer saw Davis, a 30-year-old Walmart employee, searching the parking lot. Davis identified himself as the father of the 2-year-old boy after Officer Jimmy Martin approached him and asked if he was looking for a child.

Davis told Officer Martin that the boy's mother had called to let him know that she had dropped off the child at 6.30 a.m., according to police. Davis said the mother had left the boy inside Davis' vehicle.

He also told the officer that he went to check on the child at 6.30 a.m. and left his phone in the vehicle with the boy so he could entertain himself with videos. Davis said he then returned to his shift at Walmart, which ended at 7.30 a.m.

Officer Martin reviewed security footage of the parking lot and determined that Davis' vehicle had been parked there at 11 p.m. on Sunday night. The officer saw no vehicles approaching Davis' vehicle, but police said it was difficult to determine if a car had approached due to the angle and quality of the surveillance video.

However, the footage showed Davis had gone to his vehicle at 6.30 a.m. before returning to the store.

A customer called police after finding the boy wandering in the parking lot with no shoes on at around 7.40 a.m. Police said they couldn't determine what time the child had left the vehicle or how long he had been wandering the lot. The child was found to be healthy after a medical evaluation, police said. He was released into the care of a family member.

A Kenner Police spokesman told Newsweek on Wednesday that officers had initially been unable to contact the boy's mother because Davis had her phone.

The spokesman said that after a domestic violence incident in New Orleans on Saturday night, Davis fled the home with his son, a backpack, a purse and phone belonging to the boy's mother.

The boy's mother told police said she and her family had been "frantic" and had repeatedly called and texted Davis to get him to bring the child back home.

"The mother met with Kenner Police and explained that she and her family were frantic and continuously called and texted Davis to both his phone and her phone in attempts to contact him to bring the child back or to let them come get the child," the spokesman told Newsweek.

"We were allowed to see the text messages and phone calls which corroborated she was in fact texting and calling her own phone. Once she saw the news of his arrest for child desertion she immediately called."

Davis, of New Orleans, is facing charges of child desertion, a police spokesman confirmed to Newsweek. He was also booked on other outstanding New Orleans Police Department warrants for domestic abuse and kidnapping, related to the mother of his child.

He could face additional charges of possession of stolen property if the mother files a report about her stolen purse and phone, the police spokesman added.

A Walmart spokesman told Newsweek that Davis is not a Walmart employe. "He was not a Walmart associate," the spokesman said. "He was contracted by a third-party to complete work on several updates at the store."

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Davis is not a Walmart employee and with a comment from a Walmart spokesman.

Jamar Davis
Jamar Davis Kenner Police