Parents jailed after child found in abandoned running car

By Stephen Hooker - email

CAMDEN, SC (WIS) - Camden police found something extremely disturbing: a car with a running engine, the lights on and the doors locked. Inside was an infant left alone in the middle of the night. The father, Sherwone Burris Sr., and the child's mother, Felicia Belton, are under arrest for unlawful conduct toward a child.

It's 2:00am. A patrol car cruises through Woodward Park and discovers a car with its headlights on and the engine running.  The patrolman runs the plate, and learns the car was reported stolen. But an infant is sleeping inside, and the car is locked and the gearshift is in drive.  

Over the next few days, lies are peeled away from the truth, and according police say the mother and father are charged.  "It's an odd story, but two people went to jail in this case, the mother and the father, because they didn't do what they should have done in taking care of a nine-month-old baby," said Chief Joe Floyd.

Floyd said Sherwone Burris, the father, was driving Felicia Belton's car with their baby in the backseat when a trooper tried to pull him over. Burris has a suspended license, and eludes the trooper by ducking into Woodward Park. Panicking, Burris jumps from the car, leaving it running in gear and his baby behind. The car eases against some shrubbery, where it stays for four hours until discovered by the patrol.

"It ranges several emotions and the one emotion was, I can't believe anybody would do their baby that way," said Floyd.

According to police, Burris got Belton to report her car as stolen with their baby in it. That version didn't hold up. As a result, Burris and Belton were arrested and charged with unlawful conduct against a child. Belton is also charged with making a false police report.

The Department of Social Services has placed the infant in a foster home until a home study approves a family member to take care of the child.

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