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Mother seeks help after automatic lock feature traps her baby inside minivan

Posted: 6:25 PM, Aug 09, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-09 18:25:29-04

It was supposed to be a typical grocery shopping errand for Theresa Kovacik with Isabella, her one year old baby.

Instead, it turned into a nightmare.

“I pushed the remote start on the van so I could keep the van cool while we were inside and when I came back out to the parking lot… I grabbed the door handle and unlocked the front passenger door and threw the groceries and my purse in the car,” said Kovacik.

She also placed Isabella in her car seat.

“Opened the passenger door for her car seat and as I closed the door, I heard a click and I went to the driver’s side,” said Kovacik.

Kovacik went to open the driver’s side, she discovered it had locked. She soon discovered all of the doors had locked automatically.

Her baby, minivan keys, and all of her belongings were trapped inside.

“Sheer panic… because it’s 85 degrees outside, I don’t have my phone, because my phone was in my purse,” said Kovacik. “The air conditioning luckily was still running but I knew I had been in the store for almost 15 minutes. So I knew I did not have a lot of time left with the air conditioning to run.”

So, Kovacik ran for help.

“Then I saw a mom with a baby and I just ran to her and I said please I need to use your phone. I’m like, my baby is locked in the car… my car locked on me,” said Kovacik. “My keys are in the car.”

They called 911.

A Macomb County sheriff deputy arrived in minutes. He struggled to open the door, with no luck while Isabella was crying, trapped in the minivan.

“At that point I realized it had been 15 minutes and I don’t know how hot it is in the car,” said Kovacik. “Thank goodness there were people from Kroger. They had sun shades. They put sun shades on the car for me to keep the car cool.”

Kovacik told 7 Action News the deputy decided to break the window and minutes later baby Isabella was free.

Though hot, sweaty, and scared… she was safe.

“Thank God and how in the world did this happen?” said Kovacik.

Kovacik is now thankful to that Macomb County deputy who helped her and her baby.

Meanwhile, she is hoping the car dealership can help her turn off the automatic lock feature.