Toddler found wandering in parking lot

A Marshalltown woman was charged with five counts of child endangerment after a 2-year-old boy was found wandering around the Walmart parking lot.

Ruth Ramirez, 26, went into Walmart, 2802 S. Center St., after allegedly leaving five children alone in her vehicle at about 7 p.m. Tuesday. Another customer called police when they saw the toddler was nearly hit by a car in the parking lot, said Capt. Brian Batterson, of the Marshalltown Police Department.

Upon investigation, officers found four other children, ages 6 and younger, alone in a vehicle. Batterson said the temperature was 20 degrees with a windchill of 3 degrees at the time of the incident.

Additionally, the vehicle had just one booster seat when it had been used to transport five children, Batterson said.

Ramirez is the mother of only one of the children, and had been taking care of the others, Batterson said.

She was cited with five counts of child endangerment at the Marshalltown Police Department and then released.