Calif. 3-Year-Old Dies in Hot Car After Mother Allegedly Left Her for Over 2 Hours
Authorities in California have arrested a 28-year-old mother whose 3-year-old daughter died last week after being left in a hot car for more than two hours.
Temperatures hit 100 degrees on Thursday, when police allege Eustajia Mojica Dominguez left her toddler daughter, Jessica Campos, in her vehicle while she tended to an illegal marijuana grow.
A statement from Visalia Police alleges officers were called to a home just before 6 p.m. on Thursday, on reports of a little girl who wasn't breathing.
Police arrived and performed CPR on Jessica, and the girl was transported by ambulance to Kaweah Health Medical Center, where she was pronounced deceased.
"Based on statements obtained by detectives, it is believed that Jessica was left in the vehicle for 2 ½ to 3 hours prior to being discovered," reads the statement. "The outdoor temperature was determined to be at least 100 degrees at the time of the incident."
Detectives are trying to determine how hot it was inside the car at the time Jessica was found, but scientists estimate temperatures in a car can surpass 140 degrees on 100-degree days.
Police seized 70 mature marijuana plants, 80 immature marijuana plants and about 200 lbs. of processed marijuana inside the house where the car had been parked. In California, residents are allowed to own 6 mature marijuana plants.
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Four other children were found inside the home, and all were unharmed, police said.
Dominguez was charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.
The same charges were filed against four other adults allegedly behind the grow operation.
Araceli Mojica, 33, Emmanuel Ortiz-Aguilar, 34, Valentin Aguilar Ortiz, 27, and Victor Flores Corona, 41, were also charged with marijuana cultivation.
None of the five defendants has entered pleas to the charges they face, and information on their lawyers was not immediately available.