Mom Leaves 3 Kids in Her Locked Car While She Runs Into a Store. She’s Arrested When It Rolls Into a Creek

There are a number of risks involved with leaving a child unattended in a vehicle. A Mississippi mom has learned this the hard way after her SUV rolled into a creek killing two of her children on Saturday.

WAPT16 reports Jenea Monique Payne, 25, told officers she left her three children inside of her Nissan Pathfinder before entering a local Stop-N-Shop around 5:45 p.m.

On March 9, 2019 around 5:45 p.m., the Leland Police Department was called in reference to a white Nissan Pathfinder…

Posted by Leland Police Department on Sunday, March 10, 2019

In a Facebook post, the Leland Police Department said:

Ms. Payne stated that as she came out of the store her vehicle was gone and had rolled into the creek. Ms. Payne then stated that her two sons Steve Smith (4) & Rasheed Johnson Jr. (1) and her daughter Raelynn Johnson (2) were locked inside the vehicle.

Prior to Payne coming out of the store, Leland Fire Chief Bobby Johnson and other bystanders had already noticed the vehicle floating in Deer Creek. They jumped in the water and tried to rescue the children, but were only able to save two-year-old Raelynn Johnson.

Police said:

As the vehicle floated down the creek, these individuals ended up only being able to rescue one of the three kids before having to swim to safety. The vehicle then drifted further down into the creek. Leland volunteer firefighters probed the creek attempting to find the vehicle, when a rescue dive team arrived and entered the water. The vehicle was found at 8 p.m.

When the vehicle was pulled from the creek, Payne’s two sons were still inside. Officials pronounced the boys dead at the scene.

According to Very Well Family, there are numerous dangers that come with leaving children unattended in vehicles. They include gear-shifted crashes, extreme temperatures, locking the parents out of the car, getting trapped in the trunk, or getting limbs or necks caught in windows.

On 3/11/2019, Jenea Payne was booked and charged at the Leland Police Department for an incident that occurred on…

Posted by Leland Police Department on Tuesday, March 12, 2019

In this case, police have charged Payne with two counts of manslaughter-culpable negligence and one count of child neglect.

Some have come to the young mother’s defense saying she is going through enough and doesn’t deserve the charges she’s being faced with.

A man commented:

Y’all charge the lady after she’s already lost 2 of her kids? It just doesnt make sense to me, that’s like beating a dead horse..

A mother of six commented:

Let me just say this! I am a parent of 6 and I myself have left the kids in the car while I ran in to grab that one thing I needed! Does that make us a bad parent, NO!!! This young lady is gonna have to live with this pain for the rest of her life! People never think something like this will happen! Now I myself will rethink my actions but I do not believe she should go to jail over this! She has already given herself a life sentence!

Another user commented:

Are you serious!!!! Lord be with this young mother. My mother did the same thing to my sister and I when we were 4 and 5 years old. I pulled the gear down and we went rolling. A worker name Pie jumped in the car, pushed me aside and stop the car before we went in that same creek. Speaking with my mother the day before this happened we all laughed about us almost dying just to wake up hearing this news. This could have been my mother and I know she loves us dearly. She just didn’t want us begging in the store so she told us to stay in. Lord please help Jenea.

On Monday, the Leland Police Department said that Payne has since been released “on her own Recognizance Bond by the Washington County Justice Court.”