A toddler died in Florida on Tuesday after being left inside a hot car for five hours, authorities said.
The 2-year-old boy, identified as Jacob Manchego, was found unresponsive in a locked SUV at a shopping plaza in Brandon. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he later died, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities said Jacob’s half sister, 21-year-old Fiorella Vanessa Silva-Tello, left the child in the vehicle.
Silva-Tello arrived for work at Best Friends for Kidz, a Christian-based child care and learning center in the shopping plaza, on Tuesday around 9:30 a.m. with Jacob in the car, then left him unattended in the vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office.
At approximately 2:30 p.m. local time, she returned to the car and found Jacob unconscious, according to the sheriff’s office. She carried him to a dialysis center in the shopping plaza, where first aid was administered. A Hillsborough County Fire Rescue team arrived on the scene and transported the child to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the sheriff's office said.
No charges have been filed, pending further investigation by the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office.
Best Friends for Kidz released a statement on Facebook on Tuesday, confirming Jacob’s death.
“Today, a sweet little boy passed away. He had a remarkable laugh, he was full of energy, and he loved to give hugs,” the statement said. “His name was Jacob, and he was 2 years old. Jacob died in a vehicle where he was forgotten in. From what we know, the cause was heat exhaustion.”
In the statement, Best Friends for Kidz said it will cooperate with investigators.
“We are keeping Jacob’s family in our prayers. For reasons unknown at this time, his sister made a tragic mistake. We feel confident in this statement, as an intentional act of cruelty would not be within her means,” it added. “Jacob was not in our care on this day, so there is nothing we could change to fix this tragedy.”
Best Friends for Kidz said it is collecting cards and donations for Jacob’s family to help with funeral expenses and to “help keep his family going while they try to piece their lives back together.”
The investigation into his death is ongoing, the sheriff’s office said. Detectives are interviewing Silva-Tello and other possible witnesses and are gathering physical evidence. Investigators will be reviewing Jacob’s history, including any calls for service at his residence in Brandon.
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