Tennessee couple accused of leaving baby in hot car

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Brittany Zanetti and Matthew Brown (Photos: WREG)

CORDOVA, Tenn. (WREG) — A toddler was pulled from a car after Shelby County, Tennessee deputies and Shelby County firefighters smashed a window.

Both agencies were called to a grocery store parking lot at 1230 N. Houston Levee Road Saturday.

The child was found in a Nissan Altima.

According to a release, “The toddler was left unattended in the locked car, windows up, not running, and parked in direct sunlight. Outside temperatures were over 90 degrees during this incident.”

The 15-month-old girl is in stable condition at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

The parents, Brittany Zanetti and Matthew Brown were found inside of the store where they were detained by deputies.

“Both Zanetti and Brown stated that they knowingly left the child unattended in the vehicle while they went shopping.”

They have both been charged with Child Abuse/Neglect Under 6 Years Old and are being held in the custody of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.


  • Virginia

    This just breaks my heart. We lost our only grandson to a natural death. He was handicapped from birth. Never would we have ever left him in a hot car, or any car for that matter, alone. How can parents be so thoughtless and cruel. People like this do not need children.

  • Denise Helton

    Why not hold them in a cop car in the parking lot, windows rolled up and locked with nothing to drink – see how long they last!!!

  • mamac

    The mom looks like she is decent like she wouldn’t do something like this. Dad on the other hand looks like he is rough like he don’t care about his self. Just goes to show you never know anymore who is doing what.. But I do know if I was the grandparent these 2 so called parents would be getting a whooping. I don’t care how old they are if anyone needs there butt whooped these 2 does…Shame shame shame on you 2…

    • Marty

      They need a lot more that a butt whipping. They need some serious jail time. You can’t tell me they haven’t seen on the news about other cases like these, and didn’t know better. They knowingly left her in that car. I said before and I’ll say it again. We need stiffer laws for abuse of all kinds to children. That is the only way that will make a difference.

      • mamac

        I agree totally….Stiffer laws YES…If you get caught stealing and you are “caught” no trial just the the owner of what’s being stolen cut there hand off.That is China law. We need tougher laws I have heard cops say tell me to my face that they get a little tired of running down the “thugs” and putting them in jail just to let the Judge turn them loose to pay court cost and then probation it’s all about the money.Cause just think about it. If we had tougher laws way way tougher laws the court system would have nothing to run on..It’s a RAT RACE and they love it.Our COUNTRY is needing help in a bad way.

    • Willie

      First off child, (and I could care less how old you are, mentally you are a child), my opinion on this case is if they did do this intentionally, then the proper punishment would be to horse whip them bloody and leave their bleeding butts out in the sun for twelve hours. That being said, it’s morons like you that cause innocent people to go to prison.. You, in your infinite ignorance, judge them by their looks, instead of by the facts, (“The mom looks like she is decent like she wouldn’t do something like this. Dad on the other hand looks like he is rough like he don’t care about his self”). How dare he have a beard. That means he must be a shady character, doesn’t it? In all actuality, she looks more defiant than he does, (although even defiance means nothing in this matter). I’m a perfect example. Any one who knows me (including a few hundred people I work with) will tell you that, unprovoked, (I) am one of the nicest people they know. However, if you saw me walking toward you in a store, let alone on the street, you would do what a vast majority of people do. You’d avert your eyes and move out of the path of this ugly, mean looking mother. So, how about you grow up and keep your ignorance to yourself. Oh and please, never serve on a jury.

    • Jeanne

      Looks decent! Looks have nothing to do with this woman’s appalling behavior! She left her baby to die a horrible death, it was fortunate someone noticed the child so she could be saved. Many serial killers had handsome, innocent looking faces, like Jeffrey Dahmer for instance. The baby should never be entrusted to this woman again, she should be tried for attempted murder along with the pond scum she hangs with. This admitted knowingly locking the baby in a hot car.

  • nuclear mike

    Neglect of children to the point of their death will be with us always as the many emotions that drive humans to make such mistakes cannot be removed from them…we can only hope to intervene to save some, but not all…no law will change human behavior.

  • Michael

    “Both Zanetti and Brown stated that they knowingly left the child unattended in the vehicle while they went shopping.”

    Before we start suggesting cruel and unusual punishments for two people that haven’t had a trial yet, I’d like to say that the above statement may or may not mean what you think it means. It certainly doesn’t look like an accident but I’d rather have all the facts first.

  • soldier

    Hey allen you do what what you say and you are no better than them. The evil that was in there hearts is also in yours as we are all guilty of sin. lock them up in the general population of jail and let bubba do his thing.

  • Karinttt

    Clearly, if the facts stated are true, these two need some serious jail time. They’re either stupid or intentionally cruel and should be charged with attempted murder. Leaving a child in any vehicle alone should be a felony and require at least a year in jail if nothing happens. Only then will this stop. The child should be put in foster care with a family member if possible. There’s no excuse for this type of behavior. I wonder when vehicle manufacturers are going to come up with a device that will set off the alarm in the cars if someone gets out of the car and locks the door with a live body inside?

  • Bullit

    15 years in prison–minimum!!!!! I worked for years at LeBonheur. I saw the effects of this kind of torture to a child. I saw children who were tortured & given back to the monsters who hurt them. Whether intentional or as a result of addiction or inability to care for the child’s well-being; THIS kind of cruelty needs to be stopped. It will never stop if we ignore this and give incompetent self-absorbed parents a pass. Sit in a car buckled in during 90 plus degree weather for as long as you can. Then tell the people who locked you in to make you stay longer. Seeing these horrendous abuses of parental power infuriates me and SHOULD infuriate anyone who is a decent human being. We no longer think of alive children as ‘alive’–but simply possessions of whomever gave birth to them. We believe that if a parent says ‘I didn’t mean to’, then THAT is enough. Really?!?! We are a culture that supports the death of our own children in order to compensate flat out evil. Call it what it is.

  • Jeanne

    They said they KNOWINGLY left that baby in a locked car in the hot sun. No one is that stupid. This is attempted murder of a helpless child . Maybe they were inspired by the situation in Georgia on how to get rid of an inconvenient child. Thank God that baby was found in time. Now throw these two scum bags in jail for the rest of their lives.

  • Jeanne

    An unmarried couple. An unwanted pregnancy resulting in an unwanted baby. Why, why not just put the baby up for adoption at birth rather than figure ways to kill it later ? It has become fashionable to encourage unmarried , and many times underage girls, to keep their babies even though they are unequiped to care for them. So we see young women abusing and even killing those children. We have had too many examples of this lately and this is another .

    • Felicia

      No, they’re just more publicized. Plenty of married people have killed their kids too. I’ve seen children of married parents dealing with abuse, drugs, molestation, etc., same as the children of unmarried or separated parents. Bad parents are bad parents, regardless of any other stereotype you want to adhere to them.

    • Sue

      Uses@Brounmk-it states in the article they both knowingly left the child in the car. Maybe someone should knowingly leave them in a hot car with no air and windows up on an extremely hot day. This child could have easily died. How horrible and inhumane! Also- with all the child molesters around-they could have stolen this child! Guilty of extreme child abuse!!!

      • brounmk

        Yeah I was just curious since it had quotation marks around it. Guess that was from the Sheriff’s office.

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