DORAL, Fla. (AP/WSVN) — A Homestead woman is facing criminal charges in the death of a 2-year-old child left in a hot vehicle, police say.
Jail records showed Saturday that Juana Perez-Domingo, 43, is charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child. Bond was set at $50,000, and no attorney was listed for the woman.
Soeaking through a translator, the child’s mother, Elbia Mendez-Ramirez, spoke with 7News on Saturday about the devastating loss of her daughter, Joselyn Mendez.
“I’m really sad about what happened to her, but what can I really do? She is no longer here,” she said.
Police said Mendez-Ramirez had hired Perez-Domingo to drive the toddler to daycare in Homestead early Friday morning. She drove the girl to her own home, located along Southwest First Street, because the daycare wasn’t open yet.
Investigators said Perez-Domingo left Joselyn strapped in the back seat of the transport van. She told detectives that she got distracted and forgot about the child until she returned to the vehicle seven hours later.
The child’s mother said Perez-Domingo did not call 911.
Instead, a Miami-Dade Police report says, the suspect called Mendez-Ramirez and then drove her to the mother’s house, located along the 800 block of Northwest Third Avenue. Joselyn had died by then.
“I feel really awful right now. I feel bad because my daughter isn’t here with me,” said Mendez-Ramirez.
The grieving mother said she is now forced to move on without her child.
“It’s not the same as if she were here. She would tell me everything, ‘Mommy,’ but now who will talk to me about anything? Nobody,” she said.
Police said Perez-Domingo also had no driver’s license. An autopsy was scheduled for Saturday.
Perez-Domingo has since posted bond.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.