WEST CARSON, Calif. – Authorities are investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl who was left in a car with the heater on and windows rolled up for more than five hours while her mother drank with a friend nearby, records show.
June Love Agosto died at a hospital on Sept. 23 after she was found unconscious inside her mother’s vehicle, which was parked in an unincorporated county area of West Carson, California during the early-morning hours, according to a report issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. The Coroner’s report spelled the child’s last name as Augosto but family members corrected the spelling.
An autopsy was performed, but her cause of death was yet to be determined pending the results of further forensic tests.
After first telling officials she left the child alone for only a few minutes while she knocked on a babysitter’s door, she ultimately admitted that was not the case, according to the coroner’s report.
The girl’s mother told investigators she left the child in the car, alone, about 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 21, then got into another vehicle nearby to drink alcohol with a friend, according to the coroner’s report. The woman said she turned on the car’s heater and placed a blanket on her daughter’s lap so she wouldn’t get cold.
The woman reported that she fell asleep and awoke about 5 a.m., the report stated. She checked on the toddler and found she was unresponsive in her car seat.
“Vomit was present on her shirt and the car seat. Skin was coming off the decedent’s back,” the report said. “(The mother) places her on the grass and sprayed her with the water hose in an attempt to cool her down. The decedent was taken into the house and a call was placed to 911.”
Paramedics took the girl to a hospital, but she could not be saved, officials said. Paramedics noted apparent burns to the girl’s face, chest and arms, as well as cloudiness in her eyes, the report stated. “Her temperature upon arrival was 107.5 degrees.”
Investigators learned the mother had a history of drug abuse and lost custody of an older child six years ago due to neglect. The child was taken during a drug bust in which the mother and a man were arrested on suspicion of possessing cocaine for sale, operating a drug factory and risk of injury to a minor in Connecticut, the Norwich Bulletin reported.
The mother had not been arrested Sunday, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
A fund has been established online to help the family with funeral expenses.