MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The State Attorney's Office is contemplating whether to file charges against a woman who police said left her 1-year-old son inside a car for several hours Wednesday, resulting in his death.
Witnesses said Maidelmys Marcel Llaca, 26, works at a hair salon on Bird Road and Southwest 97th Avenue, and came in on her day off when she forgot her son in the back seat of the car.
Detectives were back at the Westchester shopping center Thursday morning, where Llaca's son was found unresponsive inside her Nissan Altima.
Authorities said the toddler was not breathing after being left inside the car for about four hours.
"I heard the screaming in the back and then I rushed in the back to see what was going on. The baby was already on the floor. It looked like it was already too late," witness Juan Carmenat said.
The boy was taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Detectives reviewed footage from security cameras, questioned employees at the salon and took statements from Llaca.
No one would speak to Local 10 News reporter Liane Morejon Thursday at Llaca's home.
Regular customers at the salon are left wondering how this could have happened.
"It's unfortunate employees cannot afford child care," one customer, Cathy O'Sullivan said. "I've seen children in the salon before. She could've brought him inside."
According to the organization Kids & Cars, 43 children in the U.S. died of heatstroke last year after being locked in a car. Florida ranks second in the nation in these tragedies, with 90 fatalities since 1992.
A representative with the Florida Department of Children and Families said the department had no prior contact with the family.
"My heart goes out to this family who have lost a precious child," DCF secretary Mike Carroll said in a statement. "It is easy to assume this could never happen to you, but time and time again I see caregivers who let themselves slip into a routine when transporting children and make a fatal mistake when that routine is disrupted. More than half of all child deaths from hot cars are the result of a parent inadvertently leaving the child in their car."
DCF has launched an investigation into the boy's death.