Infant dies after being left in car for hours at Palm Bay church, police say

An 11-month-old infant died after being left in a car for hours in the hot sun while the parents attended a service at the church where they are co-pastors, Palm Bay police said.

The child whose birthday was this week was discovered unresponsive in the car about 1 p.m. Sunday as the parents were inside the Mount of Olives Evangelical Church, 6165 Babcock St., a small storefront congregation, police reported. Services at the church begin about 10:15 a.m., according to the church website.

“This is an unfortunate incident, and our condolences and prayers go out to the family,” Palm Bay Police Chief Mario Augello said in a statement released by the agency.

Palm Bay Police officers arrived at the church and learned that the infant girl had apparently been in the car for at least three hours as the outside temperature rose to 79 degrees. Experts point out that temperatures can get hotter inside a vehicle in the sun within moments.

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The infant was rushed to Palm Bay Community Hospital less than two miles away, where doctors in the emergency room worked to stabilize her. The child was later pronounced dead, police reported. Police were working to determine which of the parents brought the child to the congregation and whether there were other distractions involved.

An autopsy was expected to be carried out this week to determine the exact cause of death.

Palm Bay detectives were investigating the case.

J.D. Gallop is a criminal justice/breaking news reporter at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Gallop at 321-917-4641 or Twitter: @JDGallop.

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Baby dies after being left in hot car while parents at Florida church