Apr 7, 2014 8:48 PM by Marissa Esquivel

Homeless mother's tearful mugshot leads to fundraiser

PHOENIX - Shanesha Taylor, a 35-year-old Phoenix woman, was faced with a difficult decision when she received an important job interview and could not find a babysitter for her two children.

Taylor is unemployed and living off food stamps. She knew the interview was something she needed to go to, so she made the decision to leave her children in her car with the key in the ignition and proceeded to her interview.

Taylor was arrested after a witness noticed Taylor's 2-year-old son and 6 month old baby in the car crying hysterically and sweating profusely. Soon after Taylor's mugshot was released, Amanda Bishop, 24, a New Jersey woman could not get the picture out of her head. "I had a mother and family in general who struggled raising us and had to rely on other resources to provide for us and sometimes made not the greatest choices," Bishop said.

"She could have been at a bar or at a club and leaving her children in the car," Bishop said. "Here's a woman who is an example of someone who is trying - who is trying to better her situation and doing what she can to provide for her children."

Bishop established a site for Taylor on with the goal of raising $9,000. She was astonished when the site reached the goal in four days and then exceeded it by tens of thousands of dollars. She has since spoken on the phone with Taylor about getting the money to her."I was very surprised at how strong she is. I was expecting a broken-down woman and devastated," Bishop said. "But she is focusing on just getting her children back."

According to Scottsdale firefighters they found Taylor's vehicle with the windows rolled down only an inch and no running air conditioning. The baby was described to be wearing a long-sleeve shirt with a blanket on. Taylor is said to have arrived to the car approximately an hour after her interview was scheduled.

Taylor's attorney says it is too soon to determine if Taylor will receive a prison term or lose custody of her children, but with her offenses she could face probation or seven years in prison.


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