June 11, 2018 / 6:33 PM / 5 months ago

Tennessee woman due in court after video shows grandchild in dog cage

(Reuters) - A Tennessee woman was scheduled to appear in court on Monday on child endangerment charges after a video showed one of her grandchildren emerging from a pet kennel in the back of an SUV on a hot day, police said.

The viral video, which showed two kennels and another child by the car, led to an investigation after the Memphis Police Department received a complaint, according to police documents seen by Reuters.

The children, aged 7 and 8, were in the backseat of the vehicle by the time the police found the woman, Leimome Cheeks, 62, the documents show.

“Many have inquired about a viral video from Saturday that shows two children being transported in pet kennels,” the Memphis Police Department posted on its on Facebook page.

“The children were briefly spoken to and they advised there was no room inside the vehicle earlier in the day, and the defendant ... told them to get inside the kennel,” a police affidavit said.

It was not immediately clear if the children were held in one or two kennels. The department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Cheeks told the police that she checked on the children periodically before letting them out.

It was 95 degrees Fahrenheit in Memphis that day, and the SUV had no vents in the area where the kennels were placed, according to the affidavit.

Another police document said Cheeks verbally admitted to the incident before paying to be released from jail.

Cheeks was scheduled for a hearing on Monday morning.

A spokeswoman for the court was not immediately available for comment.

Data from KidsAndCars.org, which tracks children’s deaths that have been linked to cars, showed 43 children died of heat-stroke in cars last year, a spike over the previous year.

The website NoHeatStroke.org says 754 children have died after being left in hot cars since 1998.

Reporting by Makini Brice in New York; Editing by Richard Chang

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