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Parents leave baby to death inside hot car overnight after party with drugs, alcohol

By NICK GARCIA Published Jul 07, 2023 10:41 am

Parents from Florida have been arrested after allegedly leaving their 18-month-old baby to death in their hot car overnight following their Fourth of July party.

CBS News reported that Joel and Jazmine Rondon went to the party with their three children, but left their 18-month-old child alone in the car on July 5 from 2 a.m. to 11 a.m., when the heat index was at 105F (40C).

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd in a media conference said the parents drank and used drugs during the party, with tests showing Jazmine was positive for alcohol and marijuana and Joel for alcohol, marijuana, and meth.

"This is pure negligence and I suggest to you the core of the negligence is the use of drugs," Judd is quoted as saying.

They went home after 17 hours and brought inside their two other children, aged 6 and 8, to feed them. But they didn't get the baby inside.

When Joel woke up at around 10 a.m. to prepare for work, he wondered where their baby was, having assumed that the baby was also in the house. He looked around until he checked the car and found the child inside, authorities said.

"After the life-saving measures, after the body being cooled down, the baby still had a core temperature of [104.4F] (40.2C)," Judd is quoted as saying, "and this was like three hours after the baby was taken out of the hot car."

Autopsy showed the cause of the baby's death was hyperthermia.

The Rondons admitted to drinking and using drugs and were remorseful upon arrest, the official noted. They're facing charges of aggravated manslaughter.

Their two other children are with their relatives at the moment.