PHOENIX — A Phoenix mother was arrested Sunday afternoon on child abuse charges after her 3-year-old daughter was found dead in a hot car. She had initially called police officers because she said her child was missing, the Phoenix Police Department said.
Phoenix police officers responded to the home of Tianna Jones around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, according to police spokesperson Sgt. Mercedes Fortune. Jones said she could not find her daughter, Delilah. She said that her car keys were also missing.
“Officers walked to Jones’ car and found that the vehicle was parked,” said Fortune. “Officers looked inside and located Delilah inside of the vehicle unresponsive.”
Delilah was taken to the hospital and eventually pronounced dead.
It is the first hot car death of the year in Arizona, according to the organization KidsandCars.org. The state has racked up 45 such fatalities since 1994. The Hot Cars Act, a federal bill that would require technology to detect children inside a vehicle, passed the full House on July 1, 2020, but has not yet passed through the Senate.
Upon further investigation, Phoenix police investigators learned that 23-year-old Jones had fallen asleep for over three hours while her daughter wandered out of the house and found her way into the vehicle.
Jones was arrested and booked for child abuse, which is a felony. Fortune said the investigation remains ongoing and Delilah’s cause of death will be determined by the Office of the Medical Examiner.
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