1-year old left in car seat dies
St. Johns County girl's father did not know she was there
By Dana Treen

Story updated at 4:09 PM on Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009

A year-old St. Johns County girl left in her car seat after her father took her mother to work this morning was unresponsive when she was found and pronounced dead when she was taken to Flagler Hospital.

The father, who returned home after taking his wife to work, did not realize she had placed their daughter in the car seat, said Sgt. Chuck Mulligan of the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office. The father, whose name was not immediately available, thought the little girl was in her crib at the house on Harvard Road where there were other adult family members.

About five hours later the girl's father found her missing after looking in her crib, Mulligan said. Rescue workers were called to the St. Augustine South neighborhood when the the family found the girl in the closed car.

She was pronounced dead early this afternoon.

"It all looks accidental at this point," Mulligan said.


Omar Long Trial: Daughter's Temperature was Nearly 110

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Omar Long cried in the courtroom today while listening to further details of his daughter's death during the second day of testimony.

The Medical Examiner who performed the autopsy on 23-month-old Arianna Long says hyperthermia (elevated body temperature) killed her.

Arianna was left in a car for several hours in June, and was dead when family members found her. ME Frederick Hobin showed the court several graphic pictures of the child and also testified that after she was pronounced dead, her body temperature was recorded at 109.8 degrees.

Long, who is being tried for aggravated manslaughter and child neglect, says he was unaware she was in the car.

Shawna Cooper, who also testified today, saw Long the night before Adrianna's death and said - contradicting testimony Tuesday - that he was not intoxicated and she did not see him drink that night.

A DCF investigator testified that Long told him he did not remember what happened after he dropped off his girlfriend at work. The next thing he remembers is being woken up by his brother who was telling him Arianna was in the car.

Tuesday, the prosecution said the night before Arianna died, her father was out all night with friends, drinking and socializing, then went back to his home in the St. Augustine South neighborhood around 5 in the morning on June 14.

Thirty-year-old Long lived with his girlfriend, children, brother and sister-in-law.

Lashondia Anderson, Arianna's mother, testified she was angry with Long because he did not answer her calls that night. When he came home, Anderson said, she did not speak to him.

He fell asleep on the couch and she finished getting ready for work, she said.

Anderson testified that she woke him up around 5:45 to drive her to work at Flagler Hospital and that he was tired. They brought Arianna with them. "When we got to the light on the way to the hospital, he had fallen asleep. He didn't go when the light turned green," Anderson said.

After Long drove back home, he walked back inside and left his toddler in the back seat of the car.

Long's sister-in-law, Seritia Montgomery, said yesterday she found the child six hours later in the car seat around noon. She testified today that the car was running and locked.

A paramedic testified that Arianna was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead there.

A crime scene technician testified Tuesday that after she placed a thermometer in the car around 2 p.m. that day for 15 minutes, it registered about 120 degrees.