A North Dakota woman reached for her phone as soon as she realized what was happening. But she was stunned by what she was witnessing. She realized no one would believe her if she didn’t record it. It was freezing outside, and yet this mom had the nerve to treat her kids like this.
Holly Renee, from North Dakota, was shopping on a cold winter day. She was in her car trying to get warm before going outside to face the snow. The parking lot was packed. Everyone had come out to stock up for the upcoming winter storm. But as she was about to go outside and head to the supermarket, she noticed something that had her reaching for her phone. There was no other option. She simply had to record what she was seeing.
It was winter time, which meant parents bundled their kids up in coats, sweaters, mittens, scarves, and leg warmers. But that made perfect sense. After all, snowstorms are typical in North Dakota. In fact, the temperature can drop below freezing in the town of Williston, North Dakota. Plus, they get about 46 inches of snow annually! But one mom seemed oblivious of the chilly weather.
After recording the video, Renee decided to post it on the town’s Facebook page: New Williston Connections. It wasn’t long before Renee realized that other parents were just as outraged by the mom’s behavior as Renee was. They simply couldn’t believe someone in their town would act this way. Social media commenters reached out to cop in the hopes that justice would be served.
Valley News Live, a local news site, covered the video, which only made it more popular. But it made folks even angrier. “The largest issue is that if she is willing to do this in public, what goes on at home?” one person wrote. “Poor little things. Unbelievable stupidity and neglect.” “She needs to lose her parenting rights,” said another. “I feel so sorry for these children.” But the parking lot mom had no clue what was about to happen.
The whole town came together to tackle this issue. But some defended the mom’s action. “Shame on everyone bashing this momma based upon 12 seconds of parenting… ” But others offered no sympathy for the woman in the footage. “Bad day or not she isn’t taking care of them !!!!!” Of course, it would be up to the cops to decide if she did something wrong, and they were very chatty!
Authorities looked into the issue after commenters reached out to them. Meanwhile, Valley News Live Facebook page kept everyone in the loop as the story developed. “We are told the Williston Police Department have identified the woman and children involved,” claimed the Valley News page. Those who viewed the video relaxed when they read the police were investigating. But others decided they didn’t want to wait for authorities to pass judgment. So, they concluded that the only solution would be to do something themselves.
People continued sharing the video. Eventually, folks from across the nation started weighing in on the controversial video. Many of them condemned the mother. But for the most part, people were on the fence as to whether Renee’s footage caught an abuse or harmless situation. However, everyone wanted to make sure the kids were okay.
The video had 2.9 million views in 18 hours. It was also shared more than 50,000 times and gained over 14,000 reactions. But the mom in the footage never realized she was being filmed. She certainly wasn’t expecting to get called North Dakota’s worst mom ever, let alone get a visit from the cops. But what really happened that night? Was it really that bad? Things weren’t looking good for the ND mom.
It was negative 8 degrees that day. Renee had taped footage of a girl wearing a red top. She also seemed to have a long-sleeve shirt, leggings, but no shoes and socks. Too make things worse, she was shaking from the cold. She tried moving her arms and legs to stay warm, but nothing was working. Meanwhile, the mom, who was nice and warm in her winter clothes, was opening the car door and taking a little boy out by force. But things got a whole lot worse from there.
The little boy was placed in a shopping cart. But all he had on was a short sleeve shirt, pants, and he seemed to be barefoot! In the footage, the woman is moving her arms around before getting the boy out of the car. Some viewers believed the mom had struck the child. But regardless, the boy and the girl were not dressed to deal with the dangerously chilly weather and were shivering. That’s when the cops realized they had to look into this.
The Williston Police Department began their investigation. They identified the woman and her kids the following day. Then, they posted a statement on their official Facebook page to keep everyone apprised. It said: “On January 11th, 2018, the Williston Police Department responded to a call for service, in which the reporting party indicated a female was at a local grocery store with two small children…”
The police department’s statement continued: “The children did not have appropriate winter gear on for the weather conditions. Numerous concerned citizens have reported the incident. We want to ensure the community that we are actively working an investigation and addressing the concerns. The safety of the children and all community members is our main focus, so we want to thank everyone who reported.”
A short time later, they added an update that read: “The children have been safely located. The Williston Police will continue to investigate this matter. We want to thank the community for reporting the incident.” The kids appeared to be okay, but the mom hadn’t been charged. This made some folks very upset. Some even claimed they wanted the mother behind bars.
The mom in the footage might have had her own reasons for exposing her kids to the cold weather. After all, everyone has a different approach to parenting. But not everyone saw it this way. Regardless, kids should always take priority over anyone else. An error in judgement on one winter day turned up the heat on this mom. Hopefully, she’ll think twice the next time she takes her kids out shopping.