Local News

Parenting blogger charged with leaving kids in car while shopping at Home Depot

Posted January 29, 2020 12:08 p.m. EST
Updated January 29, 2020 7:07 p.m. EST

— A Raleigh man is accused of leaving his two young children in his car while he was shopping at Home Depot on Tuesday.

Christopher Lee Dowdy, 39, of 1102 Oakwood Ave., is charged with two counts of misdemeanor child abuse.

According to an arrest warrant, two girls, ages 2 and 3, were left unattended in a car outside the Home Depot at 9517 Strickland Road while Dowdy was inside shopping.

Police said the children were alone in the car for at least 10 minutes before someone at the shopping center called shortly after noon to report the situation.

"They're just sitting in car seats, and the windows are cracked," a man told a 911 dispatcher.

Tuesday's noontime temperature was 50 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

"Just the two kids in the car seats and nobody else?" the dispatcher asked.

"Nobody else. Nobody around. Just a few other cars," the caller replied, adding that the car was parked at the far end of the lot.

Dowdy was given a $2,000 bond, and the magistrate put restrictions on contact he can have with his daughters until the case is resolved.

"It's disturbing because I think it's really dangerous," shopper Vickie Teal said Wednesday. "It's difficult to just run in and run out, and in that short amount of time, there's no telling what can happen."

"There are so many dangerous factors that can come into play – someone taking them, abducting them," agreed shopper Jami Copeland. "You hear these horror stories. As a mom, that makes your heart break."

"I wouldn't leave anything in the car – dog, child, anything," shopper Roger Philbeck said.

Dowdy, who posted several pieces last year about parenting on a blog called The Dad Resource Project, said in a text message Wednesday that he's "extremely appalled at the situation," but he declined further comment until he had hired an attorney.

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