Toddler dies days after being found in hot car

Photo source: Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office

A Navarre toddler is dead three days after being found unresponsive inside a hot car.

The teen who was caring for the three year old boy is now facing serious charges.

A normally quiet neighborhood in Navarre was rocked on Friday, July 22.

Santa Rosa County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a home in the 8200 block of Mercado Street after a young boy was found inside an unattended car.

Chief Deputy Bob Johnson said around 11:30 a.m. the toddler got out of the home and was able to get into the car that was parked in the driveway.

Johnson said, "The heat can get easily get up to 130, 140 degrees inside a car."

The boy was not able to get out.

Johnson said no one came looking for him.

"We have pretty good evidence that has determined the child was in the car for three hours," Johnson said.

According to an arrest report, Deputy Hargitt recorded the external temperature at the time he arrived as 94 degrees.

The report states around 2:20 p.m. a surveillance camera from a nearby home captured a man walk out of the home the boy had been in, past the car to retrieve a trash can on the street, and went back inside.

About 20 minutes later, 19-year-old Montana Jackson, the boy's aunt and babysitter, is seen walking up to the car and pulling the child out.

Johnson said this should serve as a tragic reminder of what can happen when kids leave your sight.

He said, "A lot of people will underestimate the capabilities of a small child but kids can get in and out of doors by the time they're three and up and waking. You'd be surprised what they can do."

Jackson was arrested and charged with negligence of a child with great bodily harm.

The child was flown to a Pensacola hospital.

He spent the last three days on a ventilator in critical condition but died on Monday morning.

Johnson said the child was not being watched properly.

"Obviously when you have a child even if it's not your child but your tasked with taking care of this child; what can be more important than that. A cell phone or a computer? Of course not," Johnson said.

The arrest report state the man inside the home stated he had been sleeping while Jackson took care of the three year old.

He said he did not know what Jackson was doing while he slept but does recall her sleeping next to him at one point.

In addition, he stated that Jackson did not care for the boy the same way she cared for her two own children.

Neighbors on Mercado Street said the boy was always full of life whenever they saw him.

They're shocked and saddened this happened.

Johnson said they still don't know what Jackson was doing during those three hours the boy was in the car.

Jail records show Jackson's charge has been upgraded to aggravated manslaughter of a child.

She has no bond.

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