Phoenix police have detained a 23-year-old mom of a 3-year-old girl after the officers found the toddler unconscious inside a hot car.
Tianna Jones had called police at her apartment near Interstate 17 and Thunderbird Road, reporting her daughter, Delilah, missing.
When responding officers arrived at the home, they searched the area with no sign of the little girl. The mom then told the officers that she couldn't find her car keys too.
When they went to the car, they found the girl unresponsive in the driver's seat. After rushing her to the hospital, doctors pronounced her dead.
Jones told investigators that Delilah had escaped multiple times out the front door before due to a faulty latch.
Surveillance footage from the apartment showed the young girl walking out of the building and finding her way into the car.
She was in the vehicle for more than four hours before the mom started looking for her and called 911.
Local reports indicate that Jones fell asleep during the day, following a night of partying and drug use.
Investigators also learned that Jones had previously lost custody of her daughter due to neglect.
The mom told police why she regularly failed to close the front door.
She said that in one instance, she had locked herself out while her daughter was inside. At the time, she directed Delilah to climb onto the couch and unlock the door.
Police then booked Jones in Maricopa County Jail on suspicion of child abuse, a felony charge.
While the official cause of Delilah's death is under investigation, the National Weather Service recorded Phoenix's high temperature at 103 degrees on that day.
There have been multiple cases of deaths after parents or guardians left their babies in cars.
Last year, a 3-year-old Tennessee boy, Daylin Palmer, died after being left in a hot car for over two hours. The temperature at the time reached 93 degrees.
Investigators charged the boy's father, Dylan S. Levesque, with aggravated child abuse and neglect.
In another case in Arizona, an 18-month-old baby girl died after her parents left her in a car for hours. The infant's father found her lifeless and called the cops.
According to investigators, temperatures outside touched a scorching 88 degrees, leading to the baby's death. They added in a statement that the baby had been inside the car for at least a few hours.