The mom, 21-year-old Kaylee Petchenik, called 911 around 2 p.m. on Monday saying that she’d woken up from a nap to find her children missing from the house, according to Arkansas State Police.
A Booneville police officer found the girls lying unconscious on the car’s back floorboard, cops said.
Little Laykn Petchenik was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Her 15-month-old sister, Olivia, remains hospitalized in stable but critical condition.
“Both are the apparent victims of heat,” state police said in a statement.
Temperatures in Booneville hit the high 90s around midday on Monday, according to Accuweather.
The Logan County prosecuting attorney will weigh whether to bring charges.
At least 11 children have died after being left in hot cars so far this year, according to KidsAndCars.org, an organization that works to raise public awareness about such incidents and lobbies for legislation to prevent the tragedies.
According to the organization, more than 940 children have died in hot cars nationwide since 1990.
Last July, 1-year-old twins from Rockland County, New York perished after their father forgot them inside his parked Honda Accord as it baked for eight hours in the sun.