Local News

Raleigh mom accused of leaving children in hot car says she made a mistake

Posted July 22, 2015

Laura Zarate-Castro
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— A Raleigh woman charged with child abuse was back home Wednesday with the two children she's accused of leaving unattended in a hot car.

Laura Zarate-Castro, 30, of 4133 Lake Lynn Drive, was arrested Monday night after workers who spotted the children in the car at a Cary apartment complex called 911.

A tearful Zarate-Castro said she made a mistake and isn't a bad mother to her 4-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter.

She said she stopped by a friend's apartment to drop something off and left the sleeping children in the car after cracking the window.

A woman who called 911 said the children were left alone in the car for more than 30 minutes, but Zarate-Castro insisted it was nowhere near that long, noting she didn't go into her friend's apartment.

A 911 dispatcher told the woman to open the car doors and pull the children out so they could cool off.

"It's sweltering out here, and they're sweating," the woman told the dispatcher.

The children were taken to WakeMed Cary, where Zarate-Castro said they checked out fine.

They stayed with their father after she was taken into custody, she said, but she later posted bond and was released.


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  • Sara Hauser Jul 26, 2015
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    Maybe calling her friend and having her come to her car would have been a better option?

  • Dati Pemby Jul 23, 2015
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    She's likely more upset that her anchors may be taken away from her.

  • Michael Strickland Jul 23, 2015
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    A mistake is wearing one brown sock and one blue sock. Knowing that you left the children in the car is not a mistake. It is an error in judgement.

  • Cary Tom Jul 23, 2015
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    Before I even opened the comments section I prepared myself for the holier than thou comments to come forth from the superior thinking, superior acting, superior judgement, never made a mistake wral commenters...and that's exactly what 75% of the comments are and Wm Cosby rolled it right out with calling a total stranger a scumbag.

  • Dan May Jul 23, 2015
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    Oops! Because every mother of 2 thinks its a good idea to leave her toddlers in a sweltering hot car mid-day in summer. No problem here....

  • Mike Berthold Jul 23, 2015
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    Yes. Immigration status is the key point in this event. Not that 2 children could have been seriously hurt. That is trivial compared to the status of the mother.

  • Kristin Byrne Jul 23, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    WRAL reported that fact when they first broke this story.

  • Sam Adams Jul 23, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    Just google it. But here is a link if it makes you feel happy.


  • Paul Jones Jul 23, 2015
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    Yeah, it's still a mistake. That doesn't make a person a scumbag. Why are you so hateful? Missing church too often, eh? Or are you totally lacking any compassion?

  • Mannin Black Jul 23, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    Care to back up that claim?