WALDORF, Maryland—A boy called 911 to report that he and six other children had been left in a car in Maryland with the windows rolled up and the motor not running.
The Charles County Sheriff’s Office tells news outlets that the children ranged in age from 2 to 4 years old, and it’s plausible that it was the eldest who called 911 Friday. The boy told authorities that the children were hot and didn’t know where they were.
Deputies traced the call to a Waldorf shopping center and helped the kids. Deputies say the driver arrived about 10 minutes later, having already been gone for about 20 minutes.
The driver, a mother of two who was babysitting five other kids, was charged with confinement of children inside a motor vehicle.
In multiple states across the United States, it is illegal to leave your child inside an unattended vehicle for even a minute.
“As a reminder, it is against the law to leave a child under the age of eight unattended inside a motor vehicle if the caregiver is out of sight of the child unless a reliable person at least 13-years-old remains with the child,” the Charles County Sheriff’s Office said in a Friday news release.
“If you live in a state like Louisiana, Maryland or Nebraska, it’s illegal to leave your child unattended in a car for even a minute,” according to a report on Finder.com.
“There’s no federal law covering when and how long it’s OK to leave your kids in the car without you. Yet only 19 U.S. states have passed laws that specifically address kids in unattended vehicles, with another 26 states enforcing less specific “hot car” laws,” the report added.
On the website, it is possible to compare “hot car” laws across 19 states in the U.S.
‘Left in a Hot Car for 9 Hours’
The latest reported “hot car” death occurred last week in British Columbia, Canada, after a 16-month-old boy was left in a car for 9 hours.
The toddler was locked in a car on the 5600 block of Inman Avenue in Burnaby and was reported to firefighters at around 5:20 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, said Dave Younger, acting Burnaby Fire Chief, according to Global News.
— Yvette Brend (@ybrend) May 10, 2019
When the first responders arrived at the scene, the child was unconscious and was rushed to the hospital, where the toddler was pronounced dead.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking, it’s a tragedy, it has ripple effects throughout the community,” said Chief Supt. Deanne Burleigh, Officer in Charge of the Burnaby Royal Canadian Mounted Police, according to Global News.
— Burnaby RCMP (@BurnabyRCMP) May 10, 2019
The police said the child was inside the hot car for a total of nine hours. The investigation is ongoing, and no arrests have yet been made in the case.
“The infant’s father was located at the scene, and both parents are cooperating in this investigation,” the police said in a statement.
“Police are also asking that parents are vigilant when transporting their children, double checking the backseat of the vehicle to ensure it is clear before parking and leaving the vehicle,” Burnaby RCMP said in the statement.
9 hours?? No food ? That is out and out murder .. https://t.co/HGi8i8U9Is
— VisionaryBryanSmith (@calpepper) May 10, 2019
Epoch Times reporter Venus Upadhayaya and The Associated Press contributed to this article.