Marsha Forrester, 36, was charged with child abuse after she overdosed in a Publix parking lot and had to undergo an emergency C-section, WFLA reported on July 12.
Two children were found in the backseat of the vehicle, said officials.
— ABC Action News (@abcactionnews) July 12, 2019
Forrester stopped at a Circle K convenience store after picking up her children before she used cocaine and left the children in the car. She got back inside the vehicle, drove to a Publix, and passed out due to an apparent overdose, police said.
As reported by ABC Action News, both children are under 5 years old.
The car was running and had the air conditioner turned off. Temperatures reached around 90 degrees Fahrenheit in Polk County, said WFLA.
Fire officials found her slumped over the steering wheel as her children were sweating and crying, the report said.
She was administered two doses of Narcan before she was taken to a hospital for emergency surgery. The baby is now in critical condition, WFLA reported.
The two other children were not harmed.
“I’m both furious and heartbroken about this,” Sheriff Grady Judd told ABC Action News. “Two small children and a baby who was due to be born soon were put into serious danger, all because this woman wanted to get high. She chose cocaine over the safety of these little ones.”
After she was released from the hospital, the woman was arrested and charged with two counts of negligent child abuse and was taken to the Polk County Jail.
Reports said that she was previously arrested for felony robbery, prostitution, and battery.
Other details about the case are not clear.
Similar Case in Utah
Police in Utah have accused a mother of placing her 4-year-old boy in a hot car as a form of punishment.
Officials also said he was sitting within reach of a used heroin needle that the woman, Jessica Lee Brown, had used, Fox13 reported.
Police were called in for a welfare check at the Draper City Park in Draper at around 9 p.m. after receiving a report of young boy being held in the vehicle for a “time out.”
Officers said that it was 82 degrees Fahrenheit outside.
When she was questioned by officers, Brown said she put the boy inside with the windows up and the car off after he started “acting out.”
The boy was sweating and had puffy eyes, officers noted, according to the report.
Recent Hot Car-Related Deaths
A 16-month-old child died after being left inside a hot car in Iowa.
The Sioux City Police Department said that officers were called to a street in Sioux City at around 4 p.m. local time on June 30, reported WHO-TV.
There, they found an unconscious child. When they arrived, they found the girl had been left without parental supervision inside a vehicle.
The child, who was not named, was taken to Unity Point St. Luke’s Hospital and was pronounced dead, according to the report.
Weather forecasters said that it was 98 degrees Fahrenheit in Sioux City on June 30.
A 3-year-old child was found dead inside a hot car in Tennessee, according to the City of Morristown in a statement.
“Officers responded to the report of a missing child during a search of the property; officers found the child deceased on the floorboard of a minivan that was parked on the property. Investigators believe, at this time, the child entered the vehicle without anyone knowing and became trapped,” the city wrote, adding that it appears to “be a tragic accident.”
Heatkills.org, citing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that when outdoor temperatures range between 80 and 100 degrees, the interior of the car can get to 130 to 172 degrees.
“Children have died in cars with the temperature as low as 63 degrees. Basically, the car becomes a greenhouse. At 70 degrees on a sunny day, after a half hour, the temperature inside a car is 104 degrees. After an hour, it can reach 113 degrees,” stated Jan Null, adjunct professor at San Francisco State University, according to the website.