A Tulsa woman was arrested after a child was found alone inside a QuikTrip. Police said the Department of Human Services was called in after the girl told paramedics, "mommy hit me."
"We knew something was up," said Mike Thornbrugh, QuikTrip spokesperson.
Employees were in the middle of the weekend rush when an unexpected customer walked through the doors of a west Tulsa QuikTrip Saturday evening, July 15.
The 5-year-old child was all alone.
"The child was a regular and was always with supervision, and you know, typically you just don't see that child or any other child walk in without supervision, just kind of wandering around," Thornbrugh said.
Police said that when employees started talking to the young girl she told them that she lived alone and that her parents were dead.
Thornbrugh said QuikTrip staff members followed their training to a T: they comforted the child, offering her some water and snacks while they waited for help to arrive.
Officers said the girl told them that her back hurt and she needed to go to the doctor. The child told paramedics, "my mommy hit me," according to police.
First responders said they found signs of suspicious injuries on the child's body shortly after. Police arrested 43-year-old Sharlotte Sandstede for child neglect and public intoxication after she arrived at the store.
Officers said she was unsteady on her feet, had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. She also told them she had been drinking before showing up at QuikTrip, the arrest report says.
QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh said fortunately, their employees are ready to handle tough situations like this.
"We do train for those types of things because unfortunately we do see it quite a bit," he said. "It's common sense, you know, you would like to think that everybody would do the same thing."
The arrest report states that in the 45 minutes between the child walking into QuikTrip and Sandstede's arrest, there had been no 911 calls made for a missing child.