Cops file child neglect charge against mom of 2-month-old girl left in hot van
Updated On: Jul 30 2014 06:43:49 PM EDT
Orange County deputies have recommended the state attorney charge the mother who left her 2-month-old girl inside a hot minivan for roughly an hour with child neglect.
The infant was found on Tuesday afternoon on Avalon Lake Drive in the Avalon Park neighborhood and rushed to Nemour's Children's Hospital in critical condition but was later upgraded to stable condition and released, according to Orange County sheriff's deputies.
The mother was inside the Timber Creek Pediatrics clinic with her 9-year-old child when she realized she left her baby in the van outside. Deputies said she ran to the van and grabbed her baby. A doctor at the clinic stabilized the little girl.
According to the sheriff's office report, the mother told deputies that the infant was sleeping when she arrived at the clinic, so she decided to leave her in the vehicle, believing the appointment would be quick.
The mother ended up waiting at the doctor's office for an hour, when her "breast began hurt due to her breast feeding, at which time she remembered the infant was in the vehicle and ran out to the get her," deputies said. After the investigation was completed, OCSO filed a child neglect charge on Wednesday against the mother with the state attorney's office.
An arrest warrant has not been issued for the mother as of Wednesday morning.
The Department of Children and Families was also notified.
As investigators took pictures of the scene, the child seat sat behind the driver's seat with windows closed and a sunscreen placed on the front window.
Witnesses said the sunscreen had been placed by the mother before she entered the pediatric office.
Local 6's legal analyst, Luis Calderon, says the circumstances of the case make it unusual.
"A mother cares for one child and then at the same time possibly neglects the other," he said.
He says the State Attorney's Office will look at several factors including the baby's injuries, prior history of abuse, and what happened before the mother even arrived at the doctor's office.
"It has to be more than just mere neglect, it has to be some form of reckless disregard that rises to a level of criminal or culpable neglegence," Calderon said.
He also says they'll rely on information from DCF's investigation too.
"I think education and parenting classes that can be conducted through DCF is more of an appropriate means of ensuring that this does not happen again," he said.
Joyce Peacock's office sits in direct view of the van on the street.
"I don't know if she thought the visor was going to stop the heat coming in. I don't even want to say. It's crazy," said Peacock. "You don't leave a baby."
Deputies have not released the name of the mother or the child.
Watch Local 6 News and stay with ClickOrlando.com for more on this developing story.