FL Mom Charged With Leaving Son in Hot Car

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. -- A Nassau County mother accused of leaving her child in a hot car is in court Wednesday morning.

Michelle King, 25, is charged with one count of child neglect without great bodily harm.

It's expected that at her first appearance hearing a judge will decide whether she can be released from jail on bond.

Sheriff's deputies took King into custody on Tuesday.

That's the same day she dropped her husband off at work and brought three children along for the ride, including a 6-year-old boy and 18-month-old twins, according to Sheriff Bill Leeper.

Leeper said when King returned home to a subdivision off Chester Road in Yulee, she allegedly forgot one of the twins, a male, in the car and went back to sleep inside.

Eventually, Leeper said, the 6-year-old went to the car to get something and found the young child inside. The 6-year-old alerted King, who then called 911, according to Leeper.

The toddler was taken to the hospital, where First Coast News learned Wednesday morning he is in stable condition after being treated for heat exhaustion.

Leeper said at one point he had a 103 degree temperature. The Florida Department of Children and Families is also investigating.

"We are investigating and we're working with law enforcement to gather additional information," Harrell told First Coast News. "There's so many questions we have right now."

15 children in the U.S. have already died this year due to car-related heat strokes. Statistics show 606 children have died due to vehicular heat strokes from 1998- 2013.

"About 52 percent are being left by accident, meaning they're forgotten, a parent that thinks that they've gotten the child out of the car," said Jessica Winberry, Wolfson Children's Hospital.

Winberry is a community health educator with Wolfson Children's Hospital and says parents forgetting their kids in the car is a year-round problem.

"We do see more deaths in these hotter months but don't be lulled into the idea that it can't happen in cooler months we do see our first deaths happening in 70 degree weather," added Winberry.

Children overheat 3 to 5 times faster than adults and by the time the body reaches 107 degrees, organs start shutting down.

"Your child should never be left alone in the car not even for a minute. What you think may be a minute may turn into 5, may turn into 10 ,may turn into longer, so the goal is never ever leave your child alone," added Winberry.


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