TurtleDove..may I ask why it is so important to find out what the neighbors feel about this woman? Who cares if Mrs. Jones in the corner house with the lovely hydrangeas thinks neighbor lady is nice, or Mr Smith, the one with the yappy dog thinks she is a busy body?
The OP's feelings for this woman are valid because this woman turned a scared towel clad child out in the snow because she didn't want to get off the phone and find out what was going on. OP didn't have the time or probably the strength to argue, her and the woman's DD (her own DD!!!) ran to another neighbor's house. Why should OP or her parents have had to go explain the situation and beg for an apology? I am sorry, but there is no way in Hades that this woman did not know the outcome of why OP showed up like she did..these are neighbors close enough for OP to run to, she had to see the police and all the activity, and I am positive her own DD told her.
OP's parent did freeze them out for a long period..did they tell her why? Who knows, who cares! I am sure OP's mom, given her description as peace maker, just found it easier to sart being civil to a neighbor (who seems to have a nice DD and DH) than keep freezing her. Doesn't mean they are best friends..it means OP's mom is big on keeping up appearances. I will be willing to bet, even though OP and her parents didn't blast it in the neighborhood (which is classy!), the neighbors knew..maybe not every detail, but they knew. But the point is..who cares what the neighbors say or think? This woman did something, that as a mother I cannot even conceive of doing to a scared child whether I knew them or not, and she is not someone I would ever want to lay eyes on again, much less socialize with.
This is NOT about appearances and gossip in the neighborhood, this is about an adult who turned a child out in a veryveryvery bad time. Why should OP cut her slack and say "well gee, maybe she didn't know?" I don't know all of my neighbors, but you can believe we all know if there is some police issue going on at one of our houses, and even though not too many of the kids on my section of street socialize together (gender/age variables), all the parents would open up a door and help a kid out..and some of us already have for issues far less severe than what happened to OP. She was a victim of a crime, and was victimized again by her rude neighbor who has a heart of stone.