Zoraida Hernandez charged with child neglect for leaving baby in hot car

5:56 PM, Jul 8, 2013   |    comments
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ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA9) -- The hearing for 32-year-old Zoraida Magali Conde Hernandez was continued until Wednesday. 

Hernandez, the mother of a baby who was left to die in a hot car, has been charged with felony child neglect, officials say.

On Monday, the courtroom was packed with supporters, including Hernandez's husband, WUSA9 reporter Peggy Fox says. 

On July 5, Hernandez left her 8-month-old boy in her vehicle in a parking lot in the 200 block of N. Glebe Rd. for approximately six hours while she went to work, Arlington County Police said.

She noticed the baby in the car when she arrived at daycare to pick up one of her other children, officials said. 

The baby was unresponsive and she immediately drove to INOVA Alexandria Hospital where the baby was pronounced dead, officials said.

Hernandez is being held on no bond at the Arlington County Detention Facility. 

Residents are upset to hear it happened to one of their neighbors, "When I heard about the 8-month-old, it made me sick, I wanted to cry, I want to cry now."

According to KidsandCars.Org, 38 children, on average, die in hot cars each year. They say even the best of parents and caregivers can overlook a sleeping child.

Experts say you can put a mirror in the back to have a visual of your child for rear facing car seats, put bags and purses in the back to force you to open the back door and look before you lock.

The baby's grandmother did not want to talk on camera but relatives say Hernandez is a good mother to her five children.

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Tragically, this was the second baby to die in a hot car Friday. In Baltimore County, a 16-month-old baby girl was left inside a truck. A relative had meant to drop off the child at daycare but realized four hours later the mistake when she went to pick up the toddler at daycare and she wasn't there.

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