8-year-old dies after being left in hot car by mother, North Carolina police say

A woman faces an involuntary manslaughter charge in North Carolina after her child died from being left in a hot car, police said.

The 8-year-old girl was transported to a local hospital after being found in critical condition in a vehicle in Charlotte on Wednesday evening but later died from a heat-related medical emergency, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. The child’s mother was charged with involuntary manslaughter and child abuse by willful act causing serious injury.

The 36-year-old woman is being held in the Mecklenburg County Jail on a $250,000 bond, jail records show.

The woman told police she left her daughter in the car while she went to work, according to an arrest affidavit. Before she left, she said she kept the air running in the car, but the child may have turned it off because she was cold.

The last time the woman heard from her daughter was via text about an hour and a half before she returned to the car, authorities said. That’s when she discovered the child lying on the backseat floorboard unresponsive.

Using a hammer, police said the woman busted the back window to reach her daughter. She then drove to the hospital but stopped at a nearby business to get help, authorities said. Someone called 911 to report the emergency, police said.

After emergency responders took the child to Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, the girl was pronounced dead early Thursday morning.

The woman told police she shouldn’t have left her child in the car and that she knew it was 94 degrees Fahrenheit (34.4 degrees Celsius) outside, according to the affidavit. She was appointed a public defender to represent her, according to court records. Her next scheduled hearing is on July 17.

There have been nearly 1,000 child hot car deaths since 1998, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The administration recommends leaving cars locked when no one is inside and never leaving a child alone in a car to prevent deaths.

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