A passer-by first noticed the 6-year-old boy sweating and crying, locked inside a van with the windows rolled up, Tuesday afternoon near Los Angeles and dialed 911.
By the time Alhambra, California, police arrived to free the child at 2:20 p.m., the temperature inside the van had reached 120 degrees, officers told KABC. Firefighters took the boy to a hospital to be checked.
“While the officers were investigating the whereabouts of the child’s parents, they came in contact with a female claiming she was the child’s baby sitter,” Lt. Eddie Elizalde of the Alhambra Police Department told the Pasadena Star-News.
Officers discovered that Helen Law, 60, had left the boy in the van for more than two hours while she ran errands and ate at a restaurant, Elizalde told the publication.
Police arrested Law on suspicion of felony child endangerment, reported KTLA. She was held in jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.
The temperature at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Alhambra was 83 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
A report by the National Safety Council shows that an average of 37 children die each year in the United States after being left unattended in hot cars. In 2017, 42 children died.