Mesa: Infant found in hot car at Mesa mall dies, becoming first Arizona hot-car death this year

Mesa: Infant found in hot car at Mesa mall dies, becoming first Arizona hot-car death this year

Miguel Torres | Monica D. Spencer |Arizona Republic

Troy Warren for MesaNewsAndTalk.Com

An infant died after being left in a hot parked car outside a Mesa mall on Saturday afternoon, said police.

At approximately1:30 p.m., officers responded to a call about a 7-month-old boy not breathing outside aJCPenneyat Superstition Springs Center, located near the U.S. 60 and Power Road.When they arrived, they discovered the infanthad been left alone inside a parked car that was not running, according to authorities.

Fire crews attempted resuscitation and transported the infant to a local hospital, but he later died.

Officers learned the boy’s mother found him in the vehicle after she had spent two hours in the mall. Police did not say if the mother previously knew the baby was in the vehicle. The investigation is ongoing and charges have not been filed against the mother.

This is the first reported child hot car death in Arizona to occur 2021, according toKids and Cars, a nonprofit devoted to children’s and pets’ safety around vehicles.

In April, a4-month-old girl was hospitalized afterbeing left in a hot car for several hours outside her home. The mother, 35-year-old Cristina Valente, initially faced charges for child abuse and negligence but, as of July, those charges appeared to have been dropped.

Fewer children died from beingleft in a hot car in the 2020, experts say, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic keeping many people at home.The only child hot-car deathinArizona in 2020 was 3-year-oldDelilah Jones, whogot into her mother’s car in a parking lotby herselfon Aug. 30, 2020.In 2019, there werefour hot-car cases in Arizona;all were children unknowinglyleftin a car.

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By Troy Warren

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