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Baby girl found alone in shopping cart at Alabama Walmart; mother, arrested woman

The mother of a baby found alone Thursday night in a shopping cart at a Northport Walmart has been arrested along with another woman who was with the girl, police said.

Northport Police Chief Keith Carpenter said officers were called to the store at 5710 McFarland Boulevard just after 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Store workers, he said, had found a 4.5-month-old baby girl unattended in a shopping cart inside the store.

When officers arrived, the baby was in the custody of Walmart employees. She was taken to hospital for examination and is in the custody of the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

The child’s mother, Bethany Joy Boothe, 37, a Northport resident, was questioned and taken into custody under an outstanding traffic warrant, Carpenter said Friday.

Police later announced that the woman with the child, Melissa A. Smith, 37, of Tuscaloosa, was charged with possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a controlled substance.

Both Boothe and Smith have charges pending against them in relation to the child’s abandonment, Carpenter said.

Smith’s relationship to the child was not immediately known. Police said they identified Smith as the woman with the child through witnesses and video.

Carpenter said it was ‘sad and tragic’ that a child was left alone and said authorities would do everything they could to ensure she was in a stable environment where she would not be additional danger.

The investigation is ongoing.