Toddler dies after being left in car


Valley Morning Star


LA PALOMA, August 19 — Cameron County Sheriff’s Department officials were investigating the death Monday of a toddler found inside a car, marking the third time in the last four weeks that authorities have investigated the deaths of infants left in parked vehicles during hot weather.


Investigators said the mother of the 18-month-old girl told them the child climbed into the car alone Monday afternoon, a time when outside temperatures were in the high 90s.


The woman told investigators she found her daughter in her car parked outside the family home in the Rancho Grande East subdivision in this rural farming community south of San Benito.


Officials declined to identify the woman or her deceased child.


“The 18-month-old somehow made her way outside the house,” said Elizabeth Anguiano, spokeswoman for the Cameron County Sheriff’s Department. “The mother went outside and found her 18-month-old in the car seat in the vehicle not strapped in the car seat.


“Everything is very, very preliminary right now because we have not been able to interview the mother because she’s so distraught. We don’t know if charges will be filed.”


Investigators are trying to determine if a car door was left open that allowed the baby to climb into the vehicle, Anguiano said. She said the child’s mother told investigators her baby was dead when she found her.


“The windows were closed and the doors were closed,” she said. “We don’t know how long the child had been in the vehicle.”


Anguiano said investigators found no signs of trauma, and an autopsy has been ordered.