There#039;s no excuse for baby#039;s death

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 31, 2003

A 2-month-old girl died after being left inside a sweltering parked car while her mother was in a Target store applying for a job in Harlingen, Texas.

After speaking with prosecutors, police have charged 24-year-old July Vreeland with abandoning-endangering a child Wednesday. To me she should have been charged with first degree murder. The people who leave babies in cars know better. Anyone who has ever sat inside a car on a summer day, even with the windows down, would know better, and that is why I think anyone who would do this deserves to be charged with murder.

Vreeland was in jail Wednesday night. The outside temperature was 93 degrees. Police did not measure the car's interior temperature but cars can quickly heat up to 140 degrees, according to police in Harlingen, Texas.

As of July 2002, researchers had identified at least 150 children who had died since 1996 as the result of being left or trapped in a hot, parked vehicle.

I don't know what would possess a person to leave defenseless child in a car in the sweltering heat.

They have to know what they are doing could be deadly.

The police didn't know how long the baby had been in the car, but that shouldn't matter. Would you leave a 2-month-old in a car by itself - even if the weather wasn't so hot?

There is no reason for this young child to be dead. It was completely preventable. The only reason this baby is dead is simple carelessness on the part of the mother.

Think about how it feels when you walk out of a cool place and get into a car that has been parked with its windows up on a summer day. You can hardly bare it. You probably wish you were back inside.

I don't understand how anyone could think that it is alright to leave a baby or child in a car in the summer or any other time.

The simple fact that the mother was only charged with abandoning-endangering a child is an outrage and an injustice to this baby and her surviving family.