Seminole deputy reunites with 3-year-old girl he found unresponsive in car

Mother leaves girl in car overnight after liquor store run, deputies say

SANFORD, Fla. – A deputy who saved a 3-year-old girl he found unresponsive in a car Sunday night was reunited with her this week.

The Seminole County Sheriff's Office tweeted a picture Wednesday afternoon of the girl hugging Deputy Bill Dunn, who rescued her after she was left in a hot car for hours, officials said.

According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies were called to the apartment where the girl was found in unincorporated Sanford around noon Sunday after her mother reported the girl and her vehicle missing.

When he arrived at the complex, Dunn found the girl in the car, which was not running, and had the windows rolled up.

According to the tweet, Dunn pulled her out of the car right away, put her under the air conditioning vent in his cruiser to help cool her off and rushed her to the hospital to be treated.

He described the intense rescue in an interview Thursday, saying that when he first got the call, he thought it was a missing child report. When he showed up without any backup or paramedics with him, he realized he had no time to waste.

"(I) opened the door, I'm immediately hit with hot air. It was hot in there. Felt for her pulse, couldn't feel her pulse," Dunn said.

He said the girl was drenched in sweat and her body was limp when he found her.

[PREVIOUS: Mom makes liquor store run, leaves child in hot car overnight, deputies say911: Mom who left toddler in car overnight said child was kidnapped]

"I put her in the passenger seat and put my hand on her chest to stabilize her best I could and went to the hospital," Dunn said.

Officials said his actions are what saved her life. On Wednesday, he held the girl again, but in much better condition. He even brought her a surprise.

"I brought her a little stuffed unicorn and she says, 'Is that yours?' I say, 'It's yours now,'" Dunn said. "And dad said, 'Why don't you give him a hug?' And she just kind of fell into my arms."

The Sheriff's Office said the girl, who looked healthy as she hugged her hero, has already made a full recovery.

Deputy Bill Dunn.
Deputy Bill Dunn.

Dunn was complimented by the Sheriff's Office for his actions.

Many Twitter users seemed to be happy about the good news, as the tweet was retweeted more than 65 times and liked almost 330 times.

[RELATED: Here's how hot temperatures can get in your car]

Investigators later determined that the girl's mother went to a liquor store with her three children Saturday night and returned home around 11:15 p.m. She took the older two children inside and left the young girl in the car through the night, deputies said.

There was no evidence that the vehicle had been tampered with or stolen, the Sheriff's Office said.

The girl's mother was charged with child neglect with great bodily harm, according to deputies. 

About the Author: