Two parents have been charged with child cruelty after leaving their 2-year-old daughter in a locked car in below-freezing weather while they went skiing at a Killington Ski Resort in which they both work.
Katelynn Brent, 21, of Hampton, New York, and Cory Ahern, 29, face charges of cruelty to a child. Brent also faces charges of driving under the influence. Both are employed by the resort, police said.
Officer Michael Hoffman, of the Killington Police Department, said in a release that his department received a report on Feb. 8 of a child left alone in a parking lot at Killington Resort while the parents were allegedly skiing.
A short time later, police found the vehicle involved in the alleged incident traveling on East Mountain Road. A stop was initiated so police could investigate the allegations and determine whether the child, who was in the back seat at the time of the stop, was safe.
Police believed Brent, 21, who was driving, was impaired by alcohol. She was screened for driving while intoxicated and detained under arrest.
During processing, she provided an evidentiary breath sample with a result of 0.101%. The legal limit for driving in Vermont is 0.08%.
Brent denied any allegations that she or her passenger, Ahern, had left their child in the vehicle. Brent was released with a citation.
After a police investigation, Hoffman learned Ahern and Brent are both employees of Killington Resort and have ski passes contingent on their employment. With the assistance of Killington Resort management, police determined both Ahern and Brent accessed the loading lift gates 10 times during the day on February 8.
Hoffman said Ahern and Brent have both been cooperative and participated in interviews with Killington Police. He said they both ultimately admitted their involvement in leaving their child alone in their vehicle while skiing.
Ahern and Brent advised they checked on the child immediately after each “run.”
The child-cruelty citations were issued on Feb. 15.
The Killington Police Department shared a news update about the arrests on Facebook, which sparked outrage from people across the social media platform.
“They should be ashamed of themselves!!!” wrote Janeen Anne Jarvis-Lunna as a Facebook comment on the police department’s post. “Wonder how many times they have put their child in danger. This just happened to be the time they were caught. How many times was this child left in the vehicle while the parents chose to put him in many dangerous situations so they could have fun! Shame on them.”