BPD: Mother arrested after leaving kids in hot car outside of Valley Plaza Mall

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Bakersfield police say  29-year-old Rosaura Estrada has been arrested on three counts of child endangerment after leaving her three children in the car while making a purchase inside of Valley Plaza Mall.

On July 3, at 1:03 p.m. Valley Plaza security officers noticed a 4-year-old child standing in the front seat of a mini van parked outside of the parking structure under the shade of some trees.

The security officers noticed there were two other children, a 6-year-old and 9-month-old, in the car. Officers say the van's front windows were cracked a few inches and the slider door window was cracked enough that one of the officers reached inside and unlocked the door.

Bakersfield police officers were dispatched and learned from the security officers that the children were sweating and in obvious distress. 

When Estrada returned back to the van at 1:14 p.m. she was arrested.

Officers say the outside temperature at the time was between 97 and 98 degrees. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a vehicle's interior temperature can rise 19 degrees in 10 minutes and young children are particularly at risk because their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult's. When a child's temperature reaches 107 degrees, they die.

The Bakersfield Police Department is reminding citizens that it is dangerous to leave children, elderly and/or dependent adults, and pets in vehicles unattended for any amount of time. This is especially true for Bakersfield’s hot summers. When officers find people who have left their children, elderly and/or dependent adults or pets in vehicles unattended; arrests can and will be made.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.

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