- Associated Press - Thursday, July 27, 2017

PORTALES, N.M. (AP) - A day care worker who is accused of leaving two toddlers in a hot car for over an hour said she found the children after she went back to fetch paperwork, court records showed.

Sandi Taylor, 31, and her mother Mary Taylor, 62, were charged with child abuse after a 22-month-old toddler died and another girl was in critical condition and unresponsive at a hospital, the Eastern New Mexico News reported Thursday (https://bit.ly/2w3XJIs).

The women operated a home day care in Portales, in eastern New Mexico. The Taylors left Maliyah Jones and Aubrianna Loya in the car after returning from lunch at a park with 10 other children Tuesday, according to an affidavit for arrest warrant. The two could not get out of their car seats without assistance.

About an hour and half later, Sandi Taylor returned to car to look for documents requested by the Child, Youth and Families Department and found Loya “slumped over toward the door”, the document said.

The day care has since remained close and will not remain, said Sandi Taylor’s brother, Mark Jones.

“We feel the loss, too,” he said. “We’re mourning, too. It’s just a horrible accident and I don’t know where we go from here.”

The temperature in Portales on Tuesday, the day the girls were left in the car, hit the mid-90s, according to the National Weather Service. Research meteorologist Jan Null said the temperature inside the car could have reached 135 degrees in an hour. People can suffer clinical heat stroke at a body temperature of 104 degrees and can die after a having a 107 degrees body temperature, according to Null.

Jones’ cousin, Janet Bradley described the young girl as a bright, sweet and happy child. She would have turned 2 in September.

Jones’ mother had Portales last fall for a job, and researched day care facilities for several weeks before deciding that her daughter would be well taken care of at Taylor Tots, Bradley said.

“No one expects to drop a child off and go to work and get called and told your child will be fighting for her life and then pass away …,” she said. “This is heartbreaking for all of us. It’s just a horrible thing that happened due to someone’s neglect and stupidity.”

Loya was breathing on her own as of Wednesday, but remained unresponsive and in critical condition, according to her family. She is under the age of 3.


Information from: The Eastern New Mexico News, https://www.easternnewmexiconews.com

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