NEWPORT NEWS - A Newport News mother is accused of leaving her children in a car while she apparently went shopping.

Police say Shirlean Whichard's children were asleep in a car at the Wal-Mart on Jefferson Avenue near Mercury Boulevard on Thursday afternoon. Police say the children are ages 2, 4 and 9.

Investigators say the children were in an unlocked car with a rear window partially down and had been alone about 20 minutes when they arrived.

Whichard, 30, was arrested when she returned to the car; the children weren't hurt and are with their father, police added.

She's charged with three counts of child neglect.

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