Elementary principal charged with child neglect after leaving kids in locked car, police say


A Georgetown County elementary school principal has been charged with neglecting two of her own children after they were left in a car parked at a Pawleys Island grocery store on Tuesday afternoon, according to a release from the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office.

According to GCSO, Kimberly Lynn Means-Nesmith, a first-year principal at Browns Ferry Elementary School, was charged with unlawful neglect of a child or helpless person after her daughters, ages 5 and 6, were found crying and banging on the windows of a 2016 Honda Pilot parked at Publix grocery in Pawleys Island. Outdoor temperature at the time was measured at 85 degrees.

The temperature inside a car on an 80-degree day can climb to 114 degrees within the first 20 minutes and 119 degrees within 30 minutes, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

Police say the kids were in the car for 26 minutes.

Means-Nesmith, 35, told a deputy she was in the store a few minutes and left the children in the car because they were sleeping, according to GCSO.

She said her husband was on the way from Georgetown to pick them up, the release stated.

Police say she took her 2-year-old son into the store.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the woman entered the store at 5:46 p.m. A store employee told police a customer brought her the car's license tag number to page the owner after other concerned customers had gathered around the locked car at 6:05 p.m.

Means-Nesmith checked out with her purchases at 6:12 p.m., according to GCSO.

The children were found to be unharmed when they were examined by personnel with Georgetown County Emergency Medical Service, police said. They were allowed to go home with their father, according to the release.

Means-Nesmith is expected to go before a magistrate at the Georgetown County Detention Center Wednesday for a bond hearing.

Emily Weaver: 843-444-1722, @TSNEmily