National

Posted: October 09, 2017

Woman jailed while visiting jail after leaving toddler in hot car, police say

A general view of the outside of the Orange County, Fla. Jail where a woman is accusedof leaving her toddler in a hot car while she visited an inmate on Sunday.
James Devaney/WireImage
A general view of the outside of the Orange County, Fla. Jail where a woman is accusedof leaving her toddler in a hot car while she visited an inmate on Sunday.

By Jason Kelly, WFTV.com

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

A Florida woman accused of leaving her 20-month-old daughter in a hot car Sunday while visiting an Orange County Jail inmate, has been released on bail.

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Rachel Etienne, 21, didn't say anything as she was leaving jail shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday.

Investigators said jail workers discovered the toddler shortly after noon Sunday in a vehicle that wasn't running.

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Deputies said the vehicle's windows were partially lowered, but its internal temperature was 91 degrees with a heat index of 110 degrees.

They said the child was drenched in sweat but was otherwise uninjured.

Etienne told investigators that she had also left a 14-year-old in the car with the toddler, but she later admitted that was untrue after learning there were surveillance cameras, an arrest report said.

Deputies said Etienne left the girl in the vehicle for almost 20 minutes while she visited an inmate. She was booked into the jail on an aggravated child abuse charge.

The Florida Department of Children and Families placed the child in the custody of a relative. Officials said it's unknown if Etienne will regain custody of her daughter.

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Deputies said Etienne admitted that she had made a mistake and seemed remorseful.

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