• FDLE investigating death of 16-month-old left in car in Columbia County

    By: Catherine Varnum


    COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. - The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating a 16-month-old girl's death at the request of the sheriff, according to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

    Dispatchers received a 911 call from the 100 block of SW Stafford Court just after 3 p.m. Tuesday, reporting that the child had been in a car and is no longer breathing, according to a release from CCSO Public Information Officer Murray Smith.

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    The Sheriff’s Office said the toddler's father forgot to take her to day care Tuesday morning, and she sat in the car all day long.

    At Sheriff  Mark Hunter's request, FDLE has taken over the investigation, as the child's parents are state employees that have contact with CCSO on a daily basis regarding criminal cases.

    A spokesman for the Florida Department of Children and Families confirms they’re also investigating this case and says temperatures in cars can warm up quickly, and there can be a 30-degree change in as little as 10 minutes.

    The investigation is active and ongoing.

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