PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Louisiana woman is under arrest for child neglect after authorities say she abandoned three children in three different places on Monday and took off.
According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Miesha Perkins, 36, left an 8-year-old child at a gas station at Okeechobee Boulevard and Drexel Road near West Palm Beach around 5 a.m.
Four hours later, Perkins then left a 3-year-old girl at a Publix on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard in West Palm Beach, and finally, abandoned a 1-year-old inside a locked car at Sunrise Avenue and North Ocean Boulevard on Palm Beach around 9:15 a.m.
A PBSO spokeswoman said Perkins walked away from the vehicle and was taken into custody a short time later.
"As soon as I heard it crying, I was like, thank god," said witness Jill Slack.
Watching in disbelief as police officers pulled the 1-year-old out of the car on Monday morning, Slack's heart dropped.
"Motherly instincts kick in and I just wanted to run down there, but of course you couldn’t," Slack said. "How can anyone treat children that way?"
The sheriff's office said Perkins and the children's father were traveling from Louisiana to Palm Beach County. Somewhere along the way, the father was removed from the vehicle.
Once Perkins arrived in Palm Beach County, she began to abandon the children, PBSO said.
The three kids are now in the custody of the Department of Children and Families and are not hurt, authorities said.
A PBSO spokeswoman added that mental illness appears to be a component in the case.
A WPTV viewer sent our news team photos of a large law enforcement presence on Monday morning in the area of Sunrise Avenue and North Ocean Boulevard on Palm Beach.
Palm Beach police, West Palm Beach police and Palm Beach County deputies were all involved in the investigation.
Perkins is under arrest for three counts of child neglect.