A 3-year-old girl has died after her mother allegedly left her alone in a vehicle for hours while she tended to a marijuana growing operation in the San Joaquin Valley, police said Friday.
First responders were called out around 5:45 p.m. Thursday to the 100 block of West Perez Avenue in Visalia, where they found the toddler not breathing in the parked car, according to a Visalia Police Department news release.
The first officer on the scene was on an unrelated call across the street and responded in seconds, police said.
The officer discovered family members trying to revive the little girl, identified as Jessica Campos, and took over CPR duties until firefighters and ambulance personnel arrived.
Jessica was then rushed to a local hospital where she died.
It’s believed the toddler was left alone in the parked vehicle for 2 1/2 to 3 hours during a period of time when temperatures were at least 100 degrees, investigators said.
Detectives conducted interviews and learned that the girl’s mother, 28-year-old Eustajia Mojica Dominguez, was apparently tending to a marijuana grow and processing pot while her daughter was inside the sweltering car, according to police.
Narcotics and special enforcement units were dispatched to the residence where they uncovered a total of 150 mature and immature marijuana plants, and around 475 pounds of processed marijuana, the release stated.
Authorities also found four children between the ages of 9 months and 15 years in the home. They were all turned over to child welfare services, according to police.
In addition to Dominguez Mojica, four other adults were at the residence at the time of the incident and all five were arrested.
Dominguez Mojica was booked on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.
The other suspects, identified as Araceli Mojica, 33, Emmanuel Ortiz-Aguilar, 34, Valentin Aguilar Ortiz, 27, and Victor Flores Corona, 41, were all booked on suspicion of child endangerment.
Police have also recommended to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office that prosecutors file drug charges against all of the suspects.