Babysitter Arrested After Newborn Who Suffered for ‘at Least 5 Hours’ Inside Car That Reached ‘Over 133 Degrees’ Dies: Cops

florida babysitter arrested newborn left inside car dies
Source: Baker County Sheriff’s Office; Unsplash

Jul. 25 2023, Updated 9:46 a.m. ET

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A Florida woman has been taken into custody after an infant in her care died while being left unattended inside a sweltering hot car for several hours, according to authorities.

Around 8 a.m. on July 19, Rhonda Jewell, 46, picked up a 10-month-old girl from the baby’s mother’s home in Macclenny to babysit her, according to the Baker County Sheriff’s Office.

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Deputies said Jewell then reportedly drove to another home in Macclenny to watch some other children, but she left the 10-month-old in the car.

Around 1 p.m., the baby’s mother came to the home to pick up her daughter, which is when Jewell reportedly realized she had left the girl in the car, according to police.

The girl was transported to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced deceased, officials said.

In a press release, Baker County Sheriff Scotty Rhoden called the incident a “tragedy.”

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Court documents state the girl was left in the car for “a period of at least five hours” and that the temperature inside the car "reached over 133 degrees," according to WTLV-TV. The baby’s external body temperature was reportedly 102.1 degrees and her internal body temperature measured 110 degrees, but the thermometer’s maximum was 110 degrees.

Jewell was arrested and charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child, authorities said. She has since bonded out of jail.


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