A Florida woman has been arrested for manslaughter after a 10-month-old child she was caring for was found unconscious in a car. Temperatures inside the car exceeded 113F, according to Baker County Sheriff’s officials.
Rhonda Jewell was accused of leaving the child unattended in the car for “at least five hours” as outside temperatures soared to 98F.
The child died as a result.
Ms Jewell was babysitting the baby and three other children on the day of the incident, according to CNN.
She picked up the 10-month-old from her parents’ home and drove to another location, where she planned to keep all the children together. Ms Jewell told investigators that when she arrived the child appeared to be sleeping, so she left the baby and went inside to see the other children. She said she forgot the baby in the car.
“It was not until the deceased’s mother arrived at the address … to pick up her child, that the deceased’s mother found her still strapped into a car seat inside the burning vehicle,” the police report said.
The mother arrived around 1 p.m. and saw her child in the car, not breathing and with blue lips. She then called 911.
The child was pronounced dead at the hospital. A detective examining the baby said the child’s skin was ‘still very warm to the touch’ even after she was taken to hospital for treatment.
Medical staff took the infant’s internal temperature, which was 110F, but noted that 110 was the highest temperature the thermometer could measure.
Ms Jewell was later arrested for manslaughter of a child resulting in death. She was booked into the Baker County Detention Center on Thursday.
Baker County Sheriff Scotty Rhoden released a statement after the tragedy asking the community to be mindful of victims when seeking information about the incident.
“Each of us receives the gift of life every morning we wake up and every night when we end our day, we are blessed that our family is safe and healthy. In the blink of an eye, our world can be turned upside down,” he wrote. “Please take this into account when trying to understand the tragedy that unfolded in our small town yesterday.”