A 23-year-old mother was arrested after police say she left her toddler son alone in a car with the windows rolled up for about 10 hours, according to a news release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office said Alexandrea Raven Scott went to a friend’s house in Willits, California, at about 3 a.m. Wednesday. She left her 18-month-old son, Chergery Teywoh Lew Mays, in the car, police said.
Scott then "socialized with people while leaving her child in the back seat of her car," the news release said.
By the time the boy was taken to a hospital, about 1:30 p.m., the temperature in Willits was about 80 degrees, meaning the temperature inside the car was about 130 degrees, former National Weather Service meteorologist Jan Null told the San Jose Mercury News.
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"It doesn’t have to be a blazing hot day for these to happen," Null, a San Jose State professor, told the newspaper. "They can happen anywhere, and happen to anyone."
According to the sheriff’s office, Scott’s friend used the car the child died in to take mother and son to the hospital. Deputies were then called to investigate the death.
Scott, of Trinidad in Humboldt County, was arrested and taken to Mendocino County Jail on suspicion of willfully causing or permitting a child to suffer great bodily injury or death, the sheriff’s office said. She is being held without bail.
Trinidad is about 150 miles from Willits.
According to the website noheatstroke.org, Mays’ death was the first child vehicular heatstroke death in California in 2018 and the 17th so far this year in the nation.