27-year-old Charlesie Edwards of Aspen was arrested by the local police on August 2 for attempted negligent criminal homicide, reported The Aspen Times.
An arrest warrant affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court reports that a woman noticed the baby “soaking wet with sweat” in the car parked in the 900 block of East Durant Street. When officers arrived on the scene at 1:45 p.m., the girl was “red in color” with her head laying against the door and not responding. Emergency medics treated the child at the scene for 30 minutes to bring her back to life.
The temperature inside the vehicle had reached 116 degrees, police said, reported the local newspaper.
Summer and sunshine are here! But with the sun comes heat, and heat can be a killer – especially when it involves a child who has been left or gotten trapped inside an unattended vehicle. Always #CheckForBaby because #HeatstrokeKills. pic.twitter.com/0M5W4HYZFc
— NHTSA (@NHTSAgov) July 31, 2019
Edwards was located by the police nearly an hour later at a downtown clothing store after they found her purse in her car, according to the affidavit. She was reportedly drunk and appeared to be under the influence of drugs while “making suicidal statements”.
Edwards was reportedly uncooperative with officers. The Aspen Times reports that she repeatedly tried to walk away from them while “acting very strange by asking odd questions”.
“While walking to my patrol vehicle, Charlesie Edwards cried and told me she had a severe alcohol problem,” Aspen Police Officer Kirk Wheatley wrote in the affidavit.
Edwards was placed in Pitkin County jail and she allegedly thought she was arrested because of DUI. After calming down from a tantrum where she threatened the lives of jail staff, child protective services counselors, and others, she became emotional about her daughter.
“I didn’t mean to hurt my baby,” Edwards said, according to the affidavit. “I forgot about her in the car. I can’t believe I did this. I could have killed her.”
Child Protective Services placed the year-and-a-half-old baby with a guardian. Edwards has two other kids—a 6-year-old and an 11-year-old, according to the affidavit. It is currently unknown whether they are still living with their mother.
She was bailed out of jail on August 5 after paying a $250 recognizance bond.
A judge said she was already on probation in Garfield County and was already being supervised by authorities, according to The Aspen Times.
— NHTSA (@NHTSAgov) August 2, 2019
NoHeatStroke.org, a website that monitors hot car deaths across the United States, suggests more than 20 children died of heat exhaustion in closed vehicles in the first 7 months of this year. It says it’s common for the temperature inside a vehicle to reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit when the ambient outside air temperature was in the 70s.
There have been no heatstroke deaths of children left in hot cars in Colorado since 2012, according to NoHeatStroke.org.