1-year-old child dies after being left in vehicle, deputies say

Investigation underway

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A 1-year-old child was found dead in a vehicle after being left inside on Friday, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said they were called to 5000 block of Indian Hill Road at 3:42 p.m. and found Jace Leslie unresponsive in the car.

[TRENDING: What La Niña could mean for rest of hurricane season | Florida felons can’t vote until they pay fines | When will Florida enter phase 3 of reopening?]

“The initial investigation indicates baby Jace was left inside of a vehicle in a rear-facing car seat for several hours by a caregiver while the caregiver was at work,” deputies said.

Around 7 p.m., deputies could be seen outside a home focusing their investigation on a black sedan.

According to deputies, the caregiver was supposed to drop the child off for daycare before going to work, but investigators said the caregiver did not drop him off.

“When the caregiver arrived to pick him up from the daycare location at 3:42 p.m. Friday, baby Jace was instead discovered unresponsive in the car, where he had been for several hours,” deputies added.

Deputies believe Jace died as a result of being inside the hot car for an extended period of time but are also waiting for the medical examiner’s office to give an official cause of death,

Temperatures in Orlando on Friday reached 87 degrees.

[RELATED: Here’s how hot temperatures can get in your car | Here’s how to prevent hot car deaths]

According to a study by Arizona State University, a vehicle parked in the sun for one hour reached an average cabin temperature of 116 degrees.

In a locked vehicle, a dark dashboard, steering wheel or seat can often reach temperature ranges of 180 - 200 degrees F, which then warms the air trapped inside a vehicle, the study shows.

KidsandCars.org reports that 21 children have died in hot cars thus far this year. That number for all of 2019 was 53.

“This is a very sad day for the children of Florida and underscores the importance of adding detection technology to vehicles to end these predictable and preventable tragedies. Every day that we delay in advancing these cost-effective detection technologies means children are at risk of needlessly dying,” said Janette Fennell, president and founder of KidsAndCars.org.

According to KidsandCars.org, Florida ranks number two in the nation based on the number of child hot car deaths.

Check back for more updates on this developing story.

About the Authors:

It has been an absolute pleasure for Clay LePard living and working in Orlando since he joined News 6 in July 2017. Previously, Clay worked at WNEP TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he brought viewers along to witness everything from unprecedented access to the Tobyhanna Army Depot to an interview with convicted double-murderer Hugo Selenski.