2-year-old dies after being left in hot car for hours, police say; caregiver faces felony charges

A caregiver faces felony charges after a 2-year-old girl died because she was left in a hot car for hours in New Mexico.

Tammie Brooks, 41, was booked on suspicion of abandonment or abuse of a child resulting in death at Hobbs County Jail.

Authorities said around 1:27 p.m. on Sept. 17, police responded to reports of an unresponsive child in the 1800 block of North Turner. The 2-year-old child was pronounced dead by emergency officials.

Investigators learned that the little girl was left in Brooks’ care around 6:30 a.m. that day. Brooks was supposed to drop the girl off at daycare, but drove to her job instead and left the girl unattended in the car for hours.

Brooks later realized the child was still in the vehicle when she went to do an errand.

An autopsy will be conducted by the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque.

The little girl was identified as Zariah Hasheme, according to NZHerald. Her parents said she was a miracle child because they had her after suffering six miscarriages.

A GoFundMe page was set up by the couple’s cousin Stephanie Wilkinson to raise money for funeral costs. Donations quickly surpassed the goal and Wilkinson said the rest of the money would be given to the couple to deal with “living expenses” as they deal with the loss of their daughter.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.