Woman arrested after baby found alone in Walmart shopping cart

NORTHPORT, Ala. — Authorities arrested a 37-year-old woman Thursday night after employees at an Alabama Walmart found a baby alone inside a shopping cart, according to multiple reports.

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Employees called police after finding the 4-month-old girl alone at the Walmart Super Center in Northport, WIAT reported. Authorities found a purse in the cart that led them to Melissa Smith, according to the news station. Smith, of Tuscaloosa, was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, methamphetamine possession and second-degree possession of marijuana, WIAT reported.

Smith’s relationship with the child was not immediately clear, although officials told The Associated Press that she is not the baby’s mother. Police told AL.com that Smith was identified as being with the child through witnesses and video.

“We don’t believe it was an abduction but we don’t know the whole story yet,” Northport police Assistant Chief Keith Carpenter said Friday, according to the AP. “We believe we know who the mother is, but we haven’t made contact yet.”

The child has since been placed into the care of the Alabama Department of Human Resources, AL.com reported. Officials continue to investigate.