Florida mom arrested after 2-year-old dies in hot car that may have reached ‘at least 130 degrees’

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ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Florida (WESH) – A Florida woman has been arrested in connection with the death of her 2-year-old daughter, who was found dead in a hot car on Wednesday.

The Pensacola News Journal reports Jessica Monell, 36, has been charged with homicide-neglect manslaughter, neglect of a child, three counts of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and possession of drug equipment.

Police say Monell arrived home at her Escambia County apartment complex around 6 a.m. Wednesday. She went inside without the toddler and went to bed.

“She got home and went inside to sleep. She forgot her kid was left in the car,” Escambia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Maj. Andrew Hobbs said. “The poor child had to sit in the car for over eight hours in the heat.”

Monell woke up around 4 p.m. and discovered the lifeless body of her 2-year-old daughter Joy Monell.

Responding deputies reportedly found Jessica Monell sobbing “hysterically” on her living room floor.

According to an arrest report, deputies found bags containing suspected crystal meth, a plastic baggy containing Tramadol, two bags and a circular container holding less than 20 grams of marijuana, syringes and one Xanax pill in the woman’s home.

Jan Null, an adjunct professor in the San Jose State Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, told the Pensacola News Journal that the inside of Jessica Monell’s vehicle could have reached a temperature of “at least 130” degrees.

Neighbor Sherry Ross told WEAR she can’t imagine how Jessica Monell feels.

“It’s very, very tragic. I had a hard time when I heard about it. That poor baby isn’t going to go to school or go to her prom or get married. She’s gone,” Ross said. “Whether it was negligence or just overwhelmed or drug-related. That mom’s going to have to live her life knowing, ‘My baby’s not going to grow up.'”

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