Foster Mother Held for Court on Child Endangerment Charges

Yolanda Clay of Rankin faces charges for leaving a 4-year-old child with autism locked in car on 88-degree day in September.

Yolanda M. Clay, 54, of 238 Fourth St., Rankin, faces a formal arraignment Dec. 6 in Common Pleas Court on child endangerment and other charges after leaving a 4-year-old foster child in a locked car in Edgewood Towne Center on Sept. 6.

District Judge Kim M. Hoots held Clay for court after a preliminary hearing last week on charges of endangering the welfare of children—parent/guardian/other commits offense, recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct (hazardous physical offense) in connection with the incident.

According to a criminal complaint, a woman flagged down a Edgewood police officer in the Giant Eagle parking lot on Sept. 6 to report that a small child was in a black Ford Explorer with all the windows up. After calling for an ambulance, the officer was able to direct the child to unlock the car door.

The officer put the boy, who was sweating profusely, in the air-conditioned police car. He noted the child was unable to speak. The outdoor temperature was 88 degrees at the time and the temperature inside the car registered 100 degrees, the complaint stated.

When the child's foster mother returned to the car, she was arrested. The complaint indicates she was not able to provide the child's last name or date of birth. She did indicate that the child is autistic and cannot speak. She had custody of the child for more than two months, the complaint stated.

The foster father arrived at the scene but was not cooperative, police said.

The child was taken to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC for further evaluation. Greater Valley Foster Care Agency took custody of the child at the hospital.

Clay was charged and taken to Allegheny County Jail. She posted $5,000 bail and was released.

Michele Pinzak October 22, 2012 at 10:04 PM
This disgusts and outrages me! Leaving a child alone in a car is bad enough, but to leave one you know will not be able to speak up for themselves is truly despicable! I certainly hope that any other children she may have had in her "care" were promptly taken away and that she can no longer be a candidate for foster parenting!


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