California Babysitter Arrested After Leaving 6-Year-Old in Van of 120 Degrees While Running Errands

A California baby sitter was arrested Tuesday after she allegedly left a 6-year-old alone, locked inside a car while the vehicle reached 120 degrees inside.

helen law
(Photo: Alhambra Police Department)

Helen Law of Alhambra was arrested a short time after Alhambra Police Department officers responded to a 911 call at around 2:19 p.m. Tuesday, according to a police news release. A witness called police after seeing a small child locked in a car, with the windows tolled up. Officers found a 6-year-old boy, covered in sweat and in tears.

Officers managed to get the car open and help the child. They took the temperature of the car, discovering it was 120 degrees inside. The fire department was called to take the boy to a hospital.

The officers could not locate the boy's parents, but they found Law and discovered she ran errands and ate at a restaurant while the child was in the car for nearly two hours.

Law was arrested and charged with felony child endangerment. Her bail was set at $100,000 and is scheduled to be in court on Thursday.

alhambra police temperature
(Photo: Facebook/Alhambra Police Department)

According to PEOPLE, the boy was in the hospital for a few hours, but released and went to school on Wednesday. He was treated for a "mild case of heat exhaustion" and other side effects, Alhambra Lt. Eddie Elizalde told the site.

With the summer almost underway and temperatures on the rise, more stories of people leaving a child in a hot car are back on the rise. On Thursday, 47-year-old Niccole Hossain was accused of leaving a child in a car in a Target parking lot in Spring, Texas for 10 minutes, while the temperature outside reached 90 degrees, according to Click2Houston.

On Wednesday, Rafael Penna of Orlando, Florida was arrested for leaving his infant in a car for nearly an hour while he shopped in a Home Depot. Police told WOFL that a good Samaritan saw the boy and called a deputy to come over and help save the child.

"We think this is just nothing short of a miracle that this child survived," Jane Watrel, the Orange County Sheriff's Office public information officer, told WOFL.

According to Kids and Cars, on average, 37 children die from heat-related deaths inside vehicles every year. NoHeatStroke.org reports that 114 children have died in Texas alone from being left in a hot car between 1998 and 2017. There were 83 deaths in Florida and 45 in California during the same time period.

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There are only 19 states with laws making it illegal to leave a child unattended in a vehicle, including Texas, Florida and California, according to Kids and Cars.

Photo credit: Facebook/Alhambra Police Department