Florida Parents Charged in Death of Toddler Left in Car Overnight After Fourth of July Party

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
July 8, 2023USshare
Florida Parents Charged in Death of Toddler Left in Car Overnight After Fourth of July Party
Police tape in a file photo. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

LAKELAND, Fla.—A toddler died after her parents left her in a hot car overnight following a Fourth of July party in Florida, authorities said Thursday.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Lakeland couple Joel and Jazmine Rondon have been charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child.

Authorities said the Rondons accidentally left the 18-month-old girl in her car seat while they removed their two other children and unloaded their vehicle after arriving home from the Independence Day celebration. Mr. Rondon discovered his toddler unresponsive in the car the following morning. She was declared dead at a hospital.

The couple submitted to drug tests, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Rondon tested positive for methamphetamines, marijuana, and alcohol. His wife was positive for marijuana and alcohol.

An autopsy ruled the toddler’s cause of death as hyperthermia. The couple was arrested Thursday. It was not immediately clear if the Rondons, both 33, have hired an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

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