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Mom Arrested for Leaving 3 Small Kids in Car

Jennifer Wirkus left her children, all under the age of 6, in a parking garage so she could attend a court hearing, Joliet police said.

A Crest Hill woman who left her three children, all under the age of 6, in an unlocked car while she attended a downtown Joliet court hearing has been charged by Joliet police with three counts of child endangerment.

An attendant for the Ottawa Street Parking Deck, 110 N. Ottawa, discovered the situation at about 9:40 a.m. Friday when she noticed the children in the unlocked car and saw that the keys were in the ignition, Capt. Tab Jensen said.

The oldest child, a 6-year-old boy, told police his mother, Jennifer N. Wirkus, 28, of 1701 Nicholson, was at a hearing at the Will County Courthouse, which is about two blocks away from the parking garage, Jensen.

The children were taken into the police custody while Wirkus was tracked down at the courthouse and instructed to go to the Joliet Police Department at 150 W. Washington St.

Although Wirkus was charged with three counts of endangering the life/health of a child and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services notified, it was decided it was in the best interest of the children to release them to their mother's care, Jensen said.

Wirkus was released on a signature bond and is to appear in court on June 3.

According to court records, Wirkus was at a court hearing on traffic violations for failure to reduce speed and disregarding a traffic control device. She has been arrested several times since 2003 on charges that include felony retail theft, felony misuse of a credit card, misdemeanor battery and misdemeanor knowingly damaging property, court records show.

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charlies angel May 07, 2013 at 11:37 PM
Yesterday a woman & little boy left a tiny dog in their car while they went into Jewel in Minooka. The dog was howling jumping from window to window. Just think how those kids felt.
no name May 08, 2013 at 01:54 PM
Yes this dumbass left her kids in a scary shitty parking garage and should of been locked up!!! But I know for a fact they wouldn't let my 11 year old son go into the courtroom with me when I went for a minor offense ... I had to sit outside the courtroom with him till I was called and a bailiff stood with him when my name was called.....And she was very rude and told me do NOT bring a child to court ever again....SO NO...THEY DONT ALLOW KIDS IN A COURTROOM .....
tony211 May 08, 2013 at 02:03 PM
Maybe they should let the kids in the courtroom in joliet. That way the kids can get familiar with being there. God knows they will be later in life.
Manny P. May 08, 2013 at 08:35 PM
Sad, but very true.
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