Several people at a Gig Harbor gas station noticed the 2-year-old girl playing alone in a car Nov. 13.
She was without supervision for more than 40 minutes before police arrived and asked Child Protective Services to take custody of the then sleeping child.
Officers found a bag on the front seat contained 20 shaved keys used to steal vehicles, and four baggies of heroin.
Police reviewed surveillance footage to determine what happened that day.
The cameras showed the girl’s 29-year-old mother running across the gas station parking lot “as if she is trying to get away from someone,” according to court documents.
Joseph Blanchette, the girl’s father, can be seen pulling into the gas station, parking the car next to the pumps and walking away from the car with the girl inside.
The footage shows the child climb into the front seat and play before eventually getting into the backseat and falling asleep.
“During the time she is in the vehicle, the key is in the ignition and she can be seen attempting to pull on the passenger-seat door handle,” records show.
The girl’s mother told police she’d been trying to work out a relationship with Blanchette for the sake of their child. He allegedly began slamming her head into the window after learning she’d hugged a male friend, so she jumped out of the car at a red light and fled.
She did not believe her daughter would be endangered.
Pierce County prosecutors on Tuesday charged Blanchette, 45, with abandonment of a dependent person, reckless endangerment, possessing burglary tools and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia.
He is to be arraigned Feb. 14.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653