A Florida couple is facing charges of aggravated manslaughter following the death of their 18-month daughter, who was allegedly left in a hot car overnight following a Fourth of July party.
Polk County Sheriff’s detectives charged Joel and Jazmine Rondon, both 33, with the first degree felony of aggravated manslaughter of a child. The couple had allegedly neglected to bring their daughter into their home after returning from a party at approximately 2 a.m. Wednesday, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office. The Rondons, who allegedly have two other young children, both believed the other had brought the toddler inside, before going to bed and finding the child unresponsive in the back of the car at 11 a.m., the press release continued.
Though the child was transported to a local medical center, efforts to revive her were unsuccessful, with her internal body temperature reading 104.4 degrees, according to the press release. Hospital staff contacted law enforcement officials who began an investigation into the incident. (RELATED: REPORT: Parents Go To Church As Baby Dies In Hot Car)
A Florida couple has been charged with aggravated manslaughter in the death of an 18-month-old girl who died after being left in a hot car overnight following a Fourth of July party, police said. https://t.co/lSLFKkmAuh
— CNN (@CNN) July 7, 2023
“Even though it is painfully evident that this child has suffered a torturous death, an absolute torturous death, Lakeland Regional still worked on the baby to try to save its life, but it was, in fact, deceased,” Polk County Sheriff Judd said, according to FOX13 News.
That evening, Joel and Jazmine submitted drug screens to the Department of Children and Families. The drug screen revealed Joel tested positive for meth, marijuana and alcohol, and Jazmine tested positive for marijuana and alcohol, according to the press release.
“This was not an accident. This is pure negligence and I suggest to you that the core of this negligence is the abuse of drugs and the abuse of drugs and who died? The 18-month-old baby,” Judd argued, FOX13 reported.
“I think the real remorse will be tonight when they’re sitting in the county jail in an air-conditioned environment by themselves, thinking it’s nice and cool in here and my baby baked to death because of my negligence and my use of drugs. They will and have to be held accountable,” he continued.
The couple were taken into custody July 6 and booked into the Polk County Jail. Their two other children have been placed with relatives, CNN reported.