2nd woman charged in Walmart abandoned baby case

File photo (MGN)

WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCIV) -- A second woman has been charged with neglect in the case of a baby that was left sitting in a shopping cart outside the Walmart in Walterboro.

Police said Friday that Jennifer Janney, the friend of the child's mother who was with her at the time, was charged with child neglect. Her bond was set at $25,000.

Police also charged 25-year-old Ashley Elizabeth Murdaugh with child neglect.

The Department of Social Services was called to the Walmart on Bells Highway Tuesday after a baby was found in a shopping cart.

According to police reports, a witness found an unattended baby girl in the parking lot around 3:30 p.m. The child was in a car seat inside the cart and the witness brought the cart inside the store to report the discovery to security.

A phone number was written on the car seat, police said. Murdaugh came back to the store almost half an hour later to get her child.

Police placed the baby in protective custody and turned her over to DSS. The reporting officer said a safety plan will be put into place to care for the welfare of the child. The baby was later released to family members.

Officials with the Walterboro police confirm that Murdaugh was arrested and charged with child neglect on Wednesday.

In bond court Wednesday evening, Murdaugh maintained her innocence, but a judge set her bond at $75,000. Murdaugh pleaded with the judge to lower the bond, saying she's buying a house in three days and could not afford the bond amount.

Police said Murdaugh was already out on bond for an assault and battery charge from Colleton County.