(CNN) — A Texas mother has been charged with endangering a child after she allegedly placed her 13-year-old son, who had Covid-19, into her car’s trunk to avoid being exposed to the virus, according to a warrant from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
Sarah Beam, 41, was charged after authorities arrived at a Houston-area Covid testing site on January 3 following a report that a health services official had found the child in trunk of Beam’s car. According to the warrant, the director of health services stated she was gathering information from cars in a line for Covid testing when “she found a female driver, later identified as Sarah Beam, having her child in the trunk of her car.”
The health director told police “the defendant confirmed that her son, K.H., who is a 13-year-old child, was in the trunk of the car due (to) the child having been tested positive for Covid.”
According to the warrant, the mother told the health director that she wanted to prevent exposure to the virus while driving her son to the testing site for “additional testing.”
When the health official asked Beam to see the child, the mother opened the trunk where the “child was lying down inside the trunk.” The mother was then told that the child would not get a test until he was removed from the trunk and placed in the back seat of the car. The health official called police and returned to the car where the child was found in the back seat.
During the investigation, police were able to review surveillance cameras at an adjacent middle school and corroborate that the child “exited the trunk of the car and entered into the back seat of the vehicle on the passenger side,” the warrant said.
The mother was released from jail Sunday on a $1,500 bond, according to a document from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office website
Beam is a teacher in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (CFISD), the school district said in a statement to CNN.
“CFPD was alerted that a child was in the trunk of a car at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site last week. Law enforcement conducted a full investigation, resulting in a warrant for arrest. Thankfully, the child was not harmed. Sarah Beam most recently worked as a teacher in CFISD and is currently on administrative leave,” the statement said.
CNN has reached out to Beam but has yet to receive a response. CNN has not been able to confirm if she has a lawyer.
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