A 2-year-old died after she was left in a car for about 14 hours, Florida officials say. Her parents have been arrested and charged.
Dispatchers received a call from a screaming woman just before 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16, Holmes County Sheriff John Tate said during a May 17 news conference. When deputies arrived, they found the woman holding her toddler, who was unresponsive.
First responders immediately began CPR on the child, but she was pronounced dead around 4 p.m., Tate said. Her body temperature was 107 degrees at the time of her death.
Tate said the toddler’s mother and father were immediately taken for questioning.
The girl’s mother, 23-year-old Kathreen Adams, told investigators that she picked her 2-year-old and 4-year-old up from a nearby relative’s house around midnight after finishing work on Monday evening, according to Tate. By the time Adams got home, her 2-year-old had fallen asleep in the car.
Adams and the child’s father, 32-year-old Christopher McLean, decided to leave the sleeping girl in the car, Tate said. The parents then smoked marijuana.
The second child, a 4-year-old, made it inside after getting home, according to Adams, Tate said.
It was not until 14 hours later, around 3 p.m., that the parents remembered their daughter was in the car and went to check on her, Adams said, according to Tate. The child was unresponsive by that point.
Investigators said they searched the parents’ house and cars and found bags of methamphetamine, marijuana and CBD gummies.
Adams and McLean were arrested and charged with child neglect, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia, the sheriff’s office said. Tate said more charges are expected pending the results of the toddler’s autopsy.
Holmes County is about 270 miles northwest of Jacksonville.
Make sure your child is not left in a vehicle
“Place the child’s diaper bag or item in the front passenger seat as a visual cue that the child is with you.”
“Make it a habit of opening the back door every time you park to ensure no one is left behind.”
“Ask your child care provider to call you right away if your child hasn’t arrived as scheduled.”
Clearly announce and confirm who is getting each child out of the vehicle.”
Source: Kids and Car Safety
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