THORNTON, Colo. – A two-year-old boy who was left inside a vehicle overnight, as temperatures plummeted well below zero, was miraculously found alive by police late Saturday morning.
Investigators are still trying to piece together exactly what happened.
They say Nicole Carmon, 26, told them she became disoriented following an accident and that she got a ride home. When she woke up Saturday morning, she realized her son wasn't there, so she called Westminster Police.
They in turn called Thornton PD and asked for help finding the woman's car, a green Ford Fiesta, somewhere along the Washington Street corridor between 100th and 120th Avenues.
Police found the car, covered in snow, in a parking lot in front of the Panda Express on the 900 block of East 120th Avenue.
When they swept off the snow and opened the door, they found the little boy inside.
"He had suffered serious frostbite and hypothermia," said Matt Barnes of the Thornton Police Department. "He was taken to a local hospital."
Barnes said the boy is expected to survive, but he didn't know if the toddler could end up losing any fingers or toes.
The incident was a big topic of discussion among customers and employees at nearby businesses.
"I don't know how someone can forget a child," said Jeanette Fam, who was working at the American Nails salon when police arrived. "I wish I had noticed something sooner."
"We saw cops everywhere," said Andrew Duran, after his shift ended at a nearby restaurant. "All of a sudden, you see cops pull out this kid."
Duran said he noticed the child wasn't moving.
Witnesses say child left in car overnight was not moving when police removed him.
Suffered frostbite, hypothermia. pic.twitter.com/BUyg4CLAcG
— Lance Hernandez (@lancehernandez7) December 17, 2016
Police told Denver7 there was no sign of an accident, which raises questions about what really happened.
Was Carmon driving under the influence?
Court records show she had been cited for DUI before (in October) and for Obstructing a Police Officer.
In February, she was cited for Driving Under Restraint. That charge was dismissed by the District Attorney. She pleaded guilty to Permitting an Unauthorized Minor to Drive.
"I'm glad that the baby is okay," said Justin Benedetti, a customer at one of the restaurants in the shopping center where the car was found. "I hope the mom is too. It sounds like she has some deeper rooted problem than we don't know about, so I hope she is okay."
"To leave your child, especially on a cold night, like (Friday) night, how low did it get? Minus 3? It's a miracle that child is alive," said Alan Keiser, a customer at one of the other shops.
Carmon is now being held in the Adams County Detention Center for investigation of Felony Child Abuse.
(PHOTO: Nicole Carmon, accused of leaving her child in a car overnight)
Anyone with information is asked to call the Thornton Police tip line at (720) 977-5069. This case remains an active and on-going investigation.