An 18-year-old mother is accused of taping up her toddler with packing tape and leaving him in a car for hours.

Detectives and witnesses said the 16-month-old was wrapped in cellophane packing tape. The tape was wrapped around his face covering his mouth, and around his wrists and ankles.

And then, investigators say, the mother left him in her car, but got locked out.

Volley Collins, a locksmith, opened the car, and found the toddler taped up, and on the back floorboard, out of view.

Collins arrived a few moments before a Hall County Sheriff’s Deputy arrived.

“I unlocked the car, reached in to get the keys out, and I heard a baby crying in the back seat,” Collins said Thursday. “I took my flashlight, looked back there, sure enough, there’s a baby in the back seat.”

Collins said he and the deputy never would have noticed the toddler because the boy wasn’t just in the back, he was on the floorboard of the back seat, out of view. Collins said the mother never mentioned he was there, and Collins believes she thought the boy would not be discovered. But then the boy cried, audible despite the tape covering his mouth, just as Collins was opening the car door.

“The only reason I looked in the back seat was, I heard a baby cry…. It’s just, you’re kind of stunned, you don’t know what to think. It’s just, how could anybody do this to a baby? And what was she gonna do with the baby?”

Collins said the deputy immediately handcuffed the mother, and cut the tape off of her son.

The toddler is OK, but the mother, Grace An, is now sitting in a Hall County jail cell.

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