Children Left Alone in Cars Twice in Two Days - 8 News NOW

Janine Gill, Reporter

Children Left Alone in Cars Twice in Two Days

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(June 5) -- For the second time this week, a parent left a baby in a car unattended in the sweltering heat. The latest incident happened Wednesday morning. Police say too many close calls are happening.

Little Edwin Olivas was one of the lucky ones. Tuesday night, his mother left him alone in a car that was still running while she went into a store. The car was stolen. He was found hours later unharmed. Fortunately, the air conditioning was on. The next morning, another mother with five children forgot about one of them.

"They thought everybody got out of the car, but unfortunately an hour later they realized one of the children was still in the vehicle," said Lt. Jeff Carlson with Metro's Abuse and Neglect Unit.

The one-year-old was taken to Sunrise Hospital for dehydration. "If it ends up the way that it did for me, you have to live with this the rest of your life," said Jody Esposito, who lost her son a few years ago.

Two years ago, Esposito's son hid in the car trunk. He died. Now Esposito is on a mission to remind parents to never leave your children unattended in cars. One suggestion is to use a sticky note reading "baby in back" on the steering wheel.

Heat can affect a child left in a car with hot temperatures in less than one minute. Once their temperature reaches 103, they can experience multiple seizures. "It could take a minute, it could take five minutes, it doesn't matter the time frame," said Esposito.

Terrill Struttman's baby boy was also killed, not from the heat, but because another parent left their children unattended in a car.

"One of the children was in the driver's seat pretending they were driving like most kids do, they shifted the vehicle into gear and the van was sent literally racing across the park and struck my wife and son," said Struttman. Struttman hopes parents will learn from his story so they will not have to suffer like he is.

Metro police are investigating the two latest cases where mother left their children alone in the car. Detectives are trying to determine whether or not to they should be charged with neglect.

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