A two-year-old girl died in West Carson, California, last week after she was left in a car for over five hours while her mother, Lacey Mazzarella, went for drinks with a friend close by, according to a coroner’s report.
June Love Agosto, 2, was left unattended in a parked car with its windows shut and heater on at around 11.30 p.m. on Sept. 21 while her mother drank with a friend nearby in the early hours of Sept. 22.
June was found unconscious in the vehicle and died at a hospital the following day, according to a report issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. The toddler’s cause of death has not yet been determined, however an autopsy has been carried out and is pending further forensic test results.
According to the report, the mother initially told officials her daughter was only left in the car for a few minutes while she knocked on a babysitter’s door. However, later, she admitted that story was not true.
The mother also misspelled June’s last name as Augosto, before family members corrected the error, reported WGN 9.
Investigators were ultimately told by the mother that she left her daughter alone in the vehicle before going to see her friend to drink alcohol. She said she covered June’s legs with a blanket and turned on the heater so her daughter wouldn’t get cold, according to the report.
The woman added that she fell asleep and woke up at about 5 a.m. and then went to check on her daughter, who was unresponsive.
“Vomit was present on her shirt and the car seat. Skin was coming off the decedent’s back,” the report said.
The report said that the mother placed her daughter on the grass and sprayed her with a water hose in a bid to cool her down.
“The decedent was taken into the house and a call was placed to 911.”
June was rushed to a hospital with a temperature of 107.5 degrees, burns to her face, chest and arms and cloudiness in her eyes, according to the report.
The mother previously lost custody of another child six years ago due to neglect, investigators learned. She also had a history of drug abuse, and was arrested along with another man on suspicion of possessing cocaine with intent to sell, operating a drug factory, and risk of injury to a minor in Connecticut, reported the Norwich Bulletin. She said she had gone through rehabilitation.
As of Oct. 1, the mother had not yet been arrested, according to booking records from Los Angeles County.
June’s grandmother Helen Hernandez told Fox11: “June Love was a beautiful baby, she deserved a good life. She deserved to grow up, go to school.”
A Go Fund Me page titled “Beautiful Little Angel” has since been set up to raise money for funeral expenses.
“This page is being set up on behalf of my Cousin Garry who has experienced the worse loss ever of his daughter June Love Agosto [sic],” the fundraising page read.
“June was just 2 years old, full of life and loved by so many. Unfortunately, a tragedy occurred and beautiful June has become an Angel in Heaven. Any donation is greatly appreciated as they will help to pay for funeral services.”