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OAN Staff Abril Elfi
6:06 PM – Wednesday, July 10, 2024

A toddler has died after she was left inside a hot car alone in Tucson, Arizona.


On Tuesday, police found the unidentified 2-year-old unconscious inside the car at the family’s driveway.

The father of the child has claimed that he had left the AC running but it stopped working when he was away. He called 9-1-1 immediately after realizing what had happened. 

The toddler was rushed to Banner University Medical Center, where her mother Erika Scholtes, 35, worked as an anesthesiologist. The mother of the child was not at home when the incident happened. 

“Resuscitation efforts were being done and the child was immediately transported to the hospital. Unfortunately, the child was pronounced deceased at the hospital,” police in Marana, about 22 miles northwest of Tucson, wrote on Facebook.

Officials told ABC15 that the victim was left for at least 30 minutes in the driveway before she was found unresponsive.

“He left the child in the car. The car was running; the AC was operational,” Captain Tim Brunenkant told Fox 19. “We are trying to determine how long he was in the house, at what time the car may have shut off or the AC stopped working.”

Brunenkant noted that criminal charges have not yet been filed, but that police are probing “to determine if this was a mistake,” per the report.

“We experience this nationwide every summer. When temperatures get above 100 degrees, it could even be 90 degrees,” Brunenkant added. “It just depends on the circumstances. It’s very tragic.”

The reason why the father went inside and left the child has not been made public at this moment. 

The temperature in Marana around Tuesday around 4 p.m. was 109 degrees Fahrenheit.

ABC15 noted that in Tucson it would only take about 20 minutes for the inside of a hot car to reach about 140 degrees, and about 40 minutes for it to reach 150 degrees.

The Marana Crime Investigations Unit was on scene to determine the circumstances of the incident.

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