2-Yr-old dies in hot car after family misunderstanding

Posted: Updated:
Unknown if charges will be filed

PHOENIX - A Valley family is mourning the loss of a 2-year old girl after she was left inside a hot car.

A family of seven went to breakfast Saturday morning in three cars and when they returned home police say there was confusion as to who was watching the 2-year-old girl, confusion that led to tragedy.

At a home near 32nd Avenue and Deer Valley police say a family of seven lost track of their toddler for three hours. Then just before 2 p.m. police say Maya Peabody was found in the back seat of the car unresponsive.

Phoenix Fire spokesperson Capt. Shelly Jamison tells 3TV, " Children are much more vulnerable to heat than adults aretheir bodies can't withstand it and it causes permanent damage and brain death."

Police say the family, including the girl's parents, two siblings and her grandparents all went to breakfast in three cars. The 2-year-old's mom left in one car to go to work. Police say the father drove Maya and the 5-year-old home while the grandparents took the 10-year-old.

Police spokesperson Luis Samudio says, "The father assumed the child was taken out of the car by one of the grandparents."

While the other kids played outside with dad and grandpa police say the father was assuming the child was napping with her grandmother at the time.

When the grandmother woke up police say, "They all began to look for the child and found her in the back seat."

The toddler's father drove her to John C. Lincoln Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Jamison explains, "There's probably nothing emergency workers or hospital staff under the best conditions could do to save her."

Paramedics say it only takes a few moments for a situation like this to turn deadly. Jamison says, "The temperature can get up to 125 degrees in 25 minutes if it's 93 degrees outside."

That was about what the temperature was Saturday, which is the reason why firefighters say parents need to double and even triple-check their children's whereabouts year round.

"The most vigilant parent under the wrong circumstance can make a mistake," Jamison says.

Police are investigating this case and plan to turn their findings over to the county attorney who will then determine whether or not to file charges.