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8-year-old dies after her mother allegedly left her in the car to go to work in extreme heat

NORTH-CAROLIN– A North Carolina mother was arrested and charged with manslaughter after she allegedly left her 8-year-old daughter in a hot car at work and the girl died, police said.

According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, officers responded to reports of a child in critical condition in a vehicle in Charlotte on Wednesday evening.

The child was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead early Thursday, according to the affidavit.

Her mother, 36-year-old Ashlee Stallings, allegedly left her daughter in the vehicle “in hot weather” and the 8-year-old suffered a medical emergency, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said in a news release. Temperatures in Charlotte reached over 95 degrees on Wednesday.

Stallings reportedly told police she left her daughter in the car with the air conditioning running while she was at work, but she believed the victim turned off the car because she was cold, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

When the mother returned to her vehicle about an hour and a half after she last heard from the girl via text message, she found her daughter unconscious on the floor of the back seat, breathing shallowly and foaming at the mouth, according to the affidavit. Stallings used a hammer to break the rear window and then attempted to drive to a local hospital before stopping at a business to get help, according to the affidavit.

“She admitted that she knew the temperature outside was 94 degrees and that she should not have left the victim alone in the car,” the affidavit states.

According to the affidavit, medical staff at the hospital told police that the girl suffered a brain herniation due to hyperthermia.

Stallings was arrested Thursday and charged with manslaughter and child abuse with intentional serious bodily harm, according to online court records.

Stallings was appointed a public defender at his first court appearance on Thursday. No information about his attorney is listed in online court records.

She is being held at the Mecklenburg County Detention Center on $250,000 bail, online jail records show. Her next court date is scheduled for July 16.

The investigation is still ongoing, police said.

Amazon confirmed to ABC affiliate WSOC in Charlotte that Stallings worked at an Amazon facility and said it was working “closely” with police on the investigation.

“This is an incredibly tragic incident,” Amazon said in a statement to WSOC. “During this difficult time, we are supporting our employees and have made counseling resources widely available.”

According to the nonprofit organization Kids and Car Safety, the incident was at least the fifth death in an overheated car this year.

It doesn’t take long for the car to become too hot for children. According to the National Weather Service, a car that is at 32 degrees Celsius can heat up to 50 degrees in just 30 minutes.

Cherise Rudy of ABC News contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2024 ABC News Internet Ventures.

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