Toddler Left In Car While Mom Shops Tries To Escape Through Sunroof for Fresh Air

toddler climbed through sunroof
Fox35

A mom has been taken into custody after police found her daughter alone in the car attempting to climb through the sunroof. Thirty-seven-year-old Jennifer Lopez of Orlando, Florida, is accused of leaving her unnamed 2-year-old daughter in a running vehicle at Waterford Lakes Town Center with only a cellphone to keep her company while she shopped.

  • Police responded to the scene after an employee of PetSmart spotted the girl outside the store June 10.

    A statement from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office given to Fox 35 noted that "the little girl was left in a running car with a cellphone while her mother went inside a store."

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  • The toddler was allegedly in the car alone for 30 minutes before police got there at 10:30 a.m. 

    The girl was standing on the middle console of the Chevrolet Camaro with her head through the sunroof in an attempt to get out of the car, according to ClickOrlando. The car was running, with the air conditioning on, but police determined that the girl opened the sunroof to get fresh air and climb out.

  • She was crying and sweating with a cellphone in her hand.

    Eventually, her mom came outside, Fox 35 stated. 

    "Are you mom?" one officer asked as she came outside. "You cannot leave a child in the car."

    ClickOrlando reported that Lopez admitted it was possible that she left her daughter in the car, but she didn't realize there was anything wrong with doing that. Police noted that the mom smelled like marijuana and ended up searching for the drug while they investigated.

  • Police removed the girl from the vehicle.

    Police reported that there were no visible signs of injury or abuse, but that doesn't mean that the girl wasn't at serious risk. The inside of a car can heat up very quickly "even with the windows cracked," according to Kidsincars.org

    "The temperature inside a car can reach 125 degrees in minutes," the website noted, "and 80% of the increase in temperature happens in the first 10 minutes."

    Cracking the window does not help slow the speed of the car heating "OR decrease the maximum temperature."

    "Children have died from heatstroke in cars in temps as low as 60 degrees," according to the website.

    In this case, that means that Lopez's daughter could have overheated in minutes -- even with the sunroof fully open.

  • Lopez was charged with several infractions, including child neglect.

    She was also charged with possession of cannabis and possession of a controlled substance, Fox 35 reported. 

    The Department of Children and Families was notified of the case, but it's not clear who has custody of the toddler as of this reporting.

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