Kids locked in U-Haul while couple dines in restaurant, police said. Mississippi mother, companion arrested.

Published 10:08 am Saturday, October 16, 2021

A Mississippi mother and her dining companion enjoyed a meal at a Mississippi Waffle House Thursday evening while the woman’s two daughters were locked in the back of a U-Haul van.

Kishawna Jackson, 34, of Laurel, and Zachary Combest, 31, of Gulfport, were each charged with felony child endangerment, according to the Laurel Leader-Call newspaper.

According to the Laurel Police Department, Jackson was eating at a Waffle House in Laurel while the two girls — ages 12 and 16 — were in the back of a U-Haul van. The 16-year-old was described as having special needs and autistic, according to the charges.

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Alert residents notified authorities about the situation. When police arrived soon after, they found Combest sitting in the front of the vehicle. Police entered the back of the van, where there was no ventilation and airflow, and discovered the two girls. Police also observed blankets and a mattress in the back of the van. The back of the van appeared as if it had been lived in.

Child Protective Services took into custody the children, which Jackson said were hers.

Police took Jackson and Combest into custody.

During a court appearance, Jackson told a judge that she was homeless at the time after receiving some temporary housing, according to the Leader-Call. Jackson said she received Social Security to care for her disabled child, but was unemployed at the time.