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Child dies in hot car in Columbia County

Sheriff's office says toddler's father forgot to take her to day care

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. – A 16-month-old girl is dead after she was found in a hot car in Columbia County on Tuesday afternoon.

According to officials a 911 call came in to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office around 3:15 p.m. reporting that the toddler was not breathing in a car on SW Stafford Court.

Paramedics tried to revive the baby, but were unable to save her.

The Sheriff's Office says the toddler's father forgot to take her to day care Tuesday morning and she sat in the car all day long.

The investigation was turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement at the request of Sheriff Mark Hunter. A source told News4Jax the child's mother works for the State Attorney's Office.

"It's my understanding that the child is related to someone who has contact with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office so they asked us to take over the investigation," FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said.

Cynthia Dennis with Safe Kids of Northeast Florida said that small children are incredibly susceptible to the heat, especially in a vehicle.

"It only takes about 10 minutes for a car to heat up 19 degrees, so it can reach lethal temperatures quickly. A child is more susceptible than adults to the heat. Their body heats up three to five times more quickly than an adult and they suffer heat stroke is what it is," Dennis said.