BAKER COUNTY, Fla. (TCD) -- A 46-year-old woman has been arrested after an infant in her care died while sitting inside an extremely hot car for hours.
According to the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, on Wednesday, July 19, at approximately 8 a.m., Rhonda Jewell picked up a 10-month-old girl from the infant’s mother’s home in Macclenny to babysit her. Jewell reportedly drove to another home in Macclenny to watch other children but left the 10-month-old in the car.
The child’s mother went to the home at 1 p.m. to pick up her daughter, but Jewell reportedly realized she had left the girl in the car. The girl was transported to Fraser Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced deceased.
Baker County Sheriff Scotty Rhoden called the incident a "tragedy" and said his office initially did not publish a press release "due to the nature of the tragedy and respect for the victim’s family and our entire community."
WTLV-TV, which cites the incident report, says the girl was left in the car for "a period of at least five hours" and that the temperature of the car reached 133 degrees. Her external body temperature was reportedly 102.1 degrees and her internal one measured 110 degrees, though the thermometer’s maximum is 110 degrees.