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Florida 10-month-old dies after being left in hot car that reached 133 degrees

Posted at 1:37 PM, Jul 20, 2023

A Florida woman has been arrested for aggravated manslaughter of a child after a 10-month-old she was caring for was found unresponsive in a car that had reached an internal temperate of over 133 degrees, according to an arrest report from the Baker County Sheriff’s office.

According to the report, Rhonda Jewell is accused of leaving the baby unattended in the vehicle for “at least 5 hours” while outside temperatures reached 98 degrees Fahrenheit, which resulted in the 10-month-old’s death.

The report said Jewell was supposed to be babysitting the infant, along with three other children. She had picked the girl up at the parents’ home and driven to another location, where she was going to babysit all four children. However, Jewell told investigators that when she got there, she assumed the baby was asleep, so she went inside the home and started interacting with the other children, “completely” forgetting about the baby being left in the car, the report said.

“It wasn’t until the decedent’s mother arrived at the address (…) to pick up her child, that the decedent’s mother found her to still be strapped in a car seat inside the hot vehicle,” the report added.

The detective investigating the case examined the 10-month-old, who was pronounced dead at a hospital, and found the child’s skin to “still be very hot to the touch.” Medical staff took an internal temperature of the baby and found an internal temperature of 110 degrees, but stated that 110 “is (the) highest temperature the thermometer could read.”

Jewell was arrested for the aggravated manslaughter of a child resulting in death and taken to the Baker County Detention Center Thursday. She does not currently have an attorney listed.