After returning from a July 4th celebration in Florida, a couple allegedly left their 18-month-old daughter unsupervised in a hot car. The youngster later died of heat stroke.
One count of aggravated manslaughter of a child has been filed against Joel and Jazmine Rondon, both 33. Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida, said on Thursday that he does not believe the “horrible, tragic death” of the youngster was an accident, but rather the result of the parents’ carelessness brought on by their use of illegal narcotics and alcohol.
“That’s a disaster waiting to happen,” he said. “Here’s one more person who is dead — a baby who can’t help itself — because of the abuse of drugs.” According to Kids and Car Safety, at least ten children, including five in Florida, have died after being left in hot cars this year.
The tweet below verifies the news:
Parents charged after child dies in hot car after Fourth of July party https://t.co/OJhUitQLnX
— PennLive.com (@PennLive) July 6, 2023
What Happened to the Toddler?
The Rondons, according to Deputy Judd, were found at a Fourth of July event in downtown Lakeland with their three children, ages 8, 6, and 18 months. Lakeland is located about 60 miles southwest of Orlando.
They got back to their house at around 3 o’clock in the morning the next day. After parking their Hyundai Elantra, the couple started unloading groceries and other goods.
Judd added that while helping with the older two children, Jazmine Rondon asked her husband to bring the toddler inside. There was a gaping hole in the car’s right rear passenger door.
Joel Rondon informed law enforcement that he had gone inside the home to retrieve something and returned to find all the car doors locked. According to the sheriff, he went to lie down after thinking his wife had gotten the baby out.
According to Judd, neither the husband nor the wife checked with the other to see if the child had been put to bed. Wednesday morning at 10 o’clock, Joel Rondon got up and got ready for work. After asking his 8-year-old to “check on the baby,” he called the authorities at 11 a.m.
The California Examiner is a must-read for anybody interested in the state’s current events:
- Tragic Shooting Incident in Cumberland Claims the Life of a 4-Year-Old Girl
- 18-year-old Found Dead After Going on Date With Guy She Met Online
The kid informed him that the baby wasn’t in the bedroom, so he started looking elsewhere in the house. His wife had not yet awakened. According to Judd, when Joel Rondon returned to the car, he discovered his 18-month-old daughter lifeless and still in the car seat.
It was sitting in the hot driveway. The sheriff’s office said that the heat index was 105 degrees at the time. “We will try to re-create with the same temperatures to determine the heat in the car,” Judd said. “Research shows us the heat of the car could have been anywhere between 130 to 170 degrees at that time.”
Rondon hurriedly carried the child inside, still in the car seat, to show his wife, a trained nurse. According to Judd, the woman knew the infant was dead at once. The parents took their child to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center for treatment, but doctors were unable to save the child’s life.
At 2:42 p.m., despite receiving medical attention, the child’s internal body temperature was 104.4 degrees. The police were alerted by the hospital staff. Drug tests were given to the pair by the Department of Children and Families more than 17 hours after they left the party.
Methamphetamine, cannabis, and alcohol were all present in Joel Rondon’s system. Judd stated that Jazmine Rondon had a positive drug and alcohol screen. “They are remorseful that the child’s dead,” Judd said. “The investigation is ongoing at this time.”
Judd confirmed that the sheriff’s office took blood from the pair for a thorough forensic analysis. The toddler died of heat after being left in the car, according to the autopsy report.
The report concluded that the 18-month-old baby was in good health. The couple’s other two children are being cared for by family members as DCF investigates the infant’s death.
The California Examiner is an essential piece of reading for anyone who has even a passing curiosity on what’s going on in the state right now:
- ‘You Failed and We’re Still Here.’ Walmart Victims’ Relatives Criticize Gunman After Sentence Hearing
- A 2-year-old Was Killed by a Driver Backing Out of a Bay Area Garage
Experts Warn of Dangers of Hot Cars
If your car doesn’t have a feature that alerts you if someone or something is in the backseat, Judd says you should come up with your own strategy for making sure there are no kids or animals in there.
According to Kids and Car Safety, an organization that tracks hot car deaths, it is unusual for drugs or alcohol to have a role in incidents when children are left in cars and later die.
Since 1990, the leading cause of mortality has been an accident brought on by the forgetfulness or misunderstanding of well-meaning parents or other caregivers. The organization promotes legislation that would make mandatory the installation of backseat detection systems in all vehicles.
“An occupant detection and alert system could have gotten assistance to this sweet angel before it was too late,” said Kids & Car Safety president and founder Janette Fennell. According to Kids and Car Safety, over 1,050 children have died from being left in hot cars since 1990.
The California Examiner is a must-bookmark if you want to stay abreast of all the latest breaking news from the Golden State.