67ºF

Woman left baby inside SUV on 80-degree morning, Daytona Beach police say

Baby was dehydrated, sweating and crying, police say

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A woman is accused of leaving a baby girl inside her SUV Tuesday with temperatures outside around 80 degrees while she was inside a Daytona Beach medical center, according to police.

Police said a witness called 911 around 8:40 a.m. when she happened upon the SUV with the crying infant inside at Twin Lakes Medical Center on LPGA Boulevard. She told officers the baby was strapped in a car seat inside the vehicle, which was turned off, and the windows were not rolled down.

"There's a baby in the car and there's no one in the car," a woman told a 911 operator.

According to the National Weather Service, the heat index was 78 degrees around 9 a.m. Tuesday near the Daytona Beach International Airport.

Paramedics, fire rescue and Daytona Beach police officers responded to the parking lot and forced the vehicle doors open, pulling the baby from the SUV.

The baby was crying at the top of her lungs and sweating profusely while fire rescue tried to free her, police said.

Paramedics said the baby was sweaty and slightly dehydrated but OK. Paramedics also changed the baby's soiled diaper, according to the arrest report.

Soon after paramedics freed the baby, the driver of the vehicle, Jessica Zaccaro, 36, of Palm Coast, came outside and told police she did not know the infant was in the SUV when she went inside.

Zaccaro told police she has three other children and said her husband put the baby in the car without her knowledge.

A spokesperson for Daytona Beach police said Zaccaro was slightly distraught before her arrest.

Zaccaro is charged with felony child neglect.

Police declined to disclose the relationship between the woman and the baby.

The Department of Children and Families was notified about the incident and the baby was released to the custody of family members.

"Leaving a child in a car for any length of time like that, this could have been a big tragedy. We're very fortunate it wasn't," the spokesperson for the Police Department said.