Collinsville mom charged in heat death of baby -

Collinsville mom charged in heat death of baby

Belleville, IL ( - A Collinsville mother is now facing charges for leaving her two children alone in a hot car, killing the one year old.

On Friday St. Clair County Prosecutor Robert Haida issued criminal charges of Endangering the Life of a Child against Jennifer Gomez. Authorities say that additional charges could be filed pending consideration from the grand jury.

Gomez is being held in the St. Clair County Jail on $75,000 bond. If convicted she could get two to ten years in prison.

On Wednesday, one-year-old Giselle Gomez, of Collinsville, was found unattended in a vehicle in the 2900 block of South Belt West in Belleville.

During a news conference Thursday afternoon, St. Clair County Chief Investigator Steve Johnson said the child was left in the vehicle between 75 and 90 minutes.

Police say a family member left Gomez and a 2 year old sibling in the car when the family member was inside an insurance agency ran by a member of the extended family.

At some point, the toddler got out of the car, went inside and was okay. By the time the relative got back to the baby, authorities say she was in cardiac arrest.

A person from a nearby business called 911 and administered CPR to Gomez. Chief Johnson said Gomez was rushed to a Belleville hospital after suffering cardiac arrest and was covered in "heat blisters" from "head to toe."

Preliminary results from an autopsy indicate Gomez died from hyperthermia from extreme heat.

Chief Johnson said it's possible the car's air conditioner was on when the adult went in the building and perhaps the toddler played with the nobs and turned on the heat before going inside.

The 2 year old sibling has been taken into protective custody by the state.

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