YULEE, Fla. – A Nassau County mother accused of leaving her 18-month-old son in a hot car for four hours outside her Yulee home on Tuesday has bonded out of jail.
Michelle King, 25, is charged with child neglect without great bodily harm. The toddler was found in the car at a home on Hawthorne Court about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday -- about four hours after the car was parked in the driveway.
Judge Robert Foster set bond for King at $10,002, and ruled that any contact King has with the victim must be supervised by the Department of Children and Families.
King posted bond and walked out of the Nassau County jail just after noon Wednesday.
Deputies said the family of five left home Tuesday morning when King took the father to work. The couple has 18-month-old twins, one boy and one girl, and a 6-year-old boy.
Deputies said King arrived home at 6:30 a.m., went into the house with the 6-year-old and the twin girl, then went to sleep, forgetting about the twin boy.
Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said the 6-year old saved his brother's life.
"He went to the vehicle to look for a toy, saw his brother, saw he was in distress, took his brother out of the seat, took him in the house, woke his mother up, said there's something wrong with Bubba, which he called him, and then that's when she checked on him," Leeper said.
King called 911, leading the dispatcher to believe the toddler wandered out of the house while she was sleeping.
"Wake up, Jackson. He's all red, like he got sunburned. I don't know how he got out of the house," she told a dispatcher.
"Was he outside by himself?" the dispatcher asked.
"Um, yes, ma'am. I don't know how he got out," King said.
"And do you know how long he was out there?" the dispatcher asked.
"Probably two hours," King said.
"OK, where were you during this time?" the dispatcher asked.
"I was sleeping in bed with my other children," King said.
She later said the boy was out in the backyard and she should know better to lock the doors when she's asleep.
The dispatcher instructed King to remove Jackson's clothing, put him in cold water and turn down the air conditioning.
"How's he doing right now? Is he awake?" the dispatcher asked.
"He's sleeping," King said.
"He's asleep? Is he breathing OK?" the dispatcher asked.
"Yes, he's breathing fine, but when his eyes were open he was real lethargic," King said.
Leeper said the interview with the young hero was key to the case.
"When you talk to her and you talk to her 6-year-old son who actually found his brother in the vehicle in a child seat, it's pretty difficult for an 18-month-old to go out of the home, open up the vehicle and get in a child seat," Leeper said. "So when you piece it all together, it's obvious that she left the child in the vehicle."
The boy was taken to UF Health Jacksonville in non-life-threatening condition, even though his body temperature reached about 103 degrees. He was given an IV. As of Tuesday evening, the toddler was listed in stable condition.
Deputies the family's other two children are staying with relatives while DCF investigates whether there have been other incidents of neglect.