Officials investigate infant’s death after being left in car by mother in SWMD

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Investigators are searching for answers after a 1-year-old boy who was left in a hot car died in Southwest Miami-Dade.

According to Miami-Dade Police, a mother left her baby boy inside a Nissan Altima for hours Wednesday, and by the time he was found, it was too late.

The incident happened outside a beauty salon in a strip mall near Bird Road and 97th Avenue. A detective could be seen going into the business to question someone who appeared to be an employee, Thursday.

According to investigators, the department received a call at 12:52 p.m. alerting them about the infant left in the hot car.

7Skyforce HD hovered above the scene at around 3:30 p.m. as police cruisers surrounded the Nissan Altima that, witnesses said, belongs to the child’s mother.

She has since been identified as 26-year-old Maidelmys Marcel llaca.

Police investigated two areas of the strip mall, a parking lot behind the mall and the Forever Young Spa, a beauty salon located in the corner of the mall.

Business neighbors told 7News the mother parked outside of the beauty shop, where she works, at around 8:30 a.m. They said she then went inside.

Several hours later, witnesses said, she went back outside to where her car was, went in and discovered that her son had been left inside and was in need of medical attention.

“She did arrive at the location where the call came from, and the baby was in the car,” said Miami-Dade Police spokesperson Alvaro Zabaleta. “When she realized the whereabouts of the baby and checked the car, that’s when she found the 1-year-old and immediately called 911.”

Juan Carmenat was one of several witnesses who wanted to help the woman and her baby, but it was too late. “I heard there were screaming in the back, and then I just rushed back to see what was going on, and the baby was in the floor,” he said.

Rescue crews rushed the young boy to Kendall Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Highs in the area reached 81 degrees Wednesday afternoon. The heat index was 83 degrees. Officials said the temperature inside the closed car rose to 99 degrees within 10 minutes.

The Nissan was later towed from the scene, followed by detectives in unmarked vehicles, just before 6 p.m.

The boy’s mother joined officers as they made their way out of the shopping plaza.

As of Thursday, no charges had been filed and the salon remained closed.

Miami-Dade Police said this is an active investigation. The case will be handed over to the State Attorney’s Office.

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