Grandma Facing Charges, Left Baby And Dogs In Sweltering Car

Photo courtesy Ocean County Scanner News

BERKELEY – A Toms River woman is facing serious charges after she allegedly left a seven month old baby and three dogs in a hot car on a sweltering day. The woman accused is the grandmother of the baby.

52-year-old Doreen Orlich of Toms River was apparently taking care of her friends’ dogs at a Holiday City home when she left the infant girl and dogs unattended in the vehicle during an 85 degree day.

Berkeley Township Police said a UPS delivery driver named Jessie DiStefano noticed the crying baby and the dogs inside a vehicle parked outside a Speightstown Lane home in the Holiday City neighborhood. The windows were rolled up and the engine was off. No adults were in sight. DiStefano called 9-1-1.

According to police, Patrolman Michael Drybola responded to the scene and pulled the infant and the dogs out. He brought the baby to his patrol car to cool her body down as she was drenched in sweat and crying.

Other police units arrived to assist and officers could not locate anyone who might have been caring for the child.

As first aid units were arriving, a woman came out of the residence and identified herself as the baby’s grandmother.

Police identified her as Doreen Orlich. It wasn’t known how long she left the baby and the dogs in the car for while she went inside the house.

The infant was transported to Community Medical Center as a precaution along with Orlich. 

Police said the Division of Child Protection and Permanency was called and immediately responded to the hospital.

Berkeley Detective Michael O’Connor also responded to continue the investigation.

Orlich was charged with one count of cruelty or neglect of a child in the 4th degree, along with three counts animal cruelty in the 4th degree.

Orlich was released in accordance with NJ Bail Reform.    

Berkeley Township Police Detective Peter Larocca told Jersey Shore Online that the baby was checked out by doctors at Community and released. The dogs were not injured and safely went with other family members.

Also assisting was Sergeant William Cullen and Patrolman Michael Sasso.

The incident remains under probe.