Mother is arrested after death of 3-year-old girl who was left in hot car

Map of the California Central Valley with a label pointing to Visalia, where a 3-year-old girl was left in a hot car
Officials responded to the 100 block of West Perez Avenue in Visalia on Friday evening for a 3-year-old girl left in a hot car. A patrol officer took over CPR on the child, who was pronounced dead at a hospital.
(Los Angeles Times)

A woman has been arrested after her 3-year-old daughter died after being left in a hot car in the San Joaquin Valley city of Visalia for several hours while the adult tended to a marijuana grow, police said Friday.

Eustajia Dominguez Mojica, 28, was booked Friday on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment, according to Visalia Police Department spokesman Mike Verissimo. It was not immediately clear who was representing her.

Officials responded to the 100 block of West Perez Avenue in Visalia at 5:47 p.m. Thursday. A patrol officer handling an unrelated call near the residential street arrived within seconds and took over CPR efforts from family members trying to revive the child, Jessica Campos, the department said.


Jessica was pronounced dead at a hospital. Officials said she was left in a parked car outside a home amid an outdoor temperature of at least 100 degrees for up to three hours.

Authorities also found 70 mature marijuana plants, 80 immature marijuana plants and about 475 pounds of processed marijuana outside the property, where Mojica’s sister lived, Verissimo said.

A 15-year-old, an 11-year-old and two 9-month-old children were found in the home and were placed into the custody of child welfare services, police said.

Four other adults who had been in the home — Araceli Mojica, Emmanuel Ortiz-Aguilar, Valentin Aguilar Ortiz and Victor Flores Corona — were booked on suspicion of child endangerment. It was not immediately clear who was representing them.

Verissimo said the department would be recommending that the Tulare County district attorney’s office file drug charges against all the adults related to cultivation and possession of marijuana. No charges have been filed yet.

The official cause of the child’s death is pending, Verissimo said.