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Locked In Hot Car, 2 Young Boys Die; Woman [Foster Mother] Arrested in Deaths
Associated Press via CBSNews.com & Atlanta Journal-Constitution ^ | July 9, 2003

Posted on 07/09/2003 10:53:04 AM PDT by newgeezer

For discussion and educational use only.


Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide detectives examine the car in which they say the brothers, age 3 and 5, were locked in for about five hours before they were discovered by police. (Photo: AP)
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Locked In Hot Car, 2 Boys Die
LANCASTER, Calif., July 9, 2003


Two young boys died Tuesday after being locked for five hours in a sport utility vehicle in sweltering heat outside a daycare center, authorities said.

The boys, ages 3 and 5, were found by sheriff's deputies around 2 p.m. in the driveway of the daycare center.

Sheriff's Sgt. Paul Patterson says the 5-year-old was dead. His brother, who was severely dehydrated, died a short time later at a hospital.

Authorities say the boys had recently been placed in the foster care of the woman who ran the center.

Police also say she is the owner of the car in which the children were found.

They say the woman, whose identity was not released, told authorities that she left the children in the car at around 9 a.m.

A woman who answered the phone at A Child's Place Daycare declined to comment.

Afternoon temperatures hovered around 100 degrees in Lancaster, a high desert town about 70 miles north of Los Angeles. But Patterson said the temperature inside a closed car could have exceeded 120 degrees.

© MMIII The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



Woman Arrested in Deaths of 2 Young Boys

LANCASTER, Calif. (AP)--The foster mother of two young boys who died after being left five hours in a sweltering sport utility vehicle was arrested for investigation of child endangerment.

Leslie Sue Smoot, 48, was booked late Tuesday night and held on $100,000 bail. No court date was scheduled.

Sheriff Lee Baca said earlier Tuesday that those responsible for leaving the children in the car would be charged with child endangerment and possibly manslaughter.

``Vehicles are not playpens,'' he said. ``Vehicles are not baby sitters. And vehicles, when they are not properly ventilated, are death traps.''

Smoot told authorities she left the boys, ages 3 and 5, in the car around 9 a.m. outside A Child's Place Daycare, which she ran.

``She indicated she thought someone else was going to get the children out of the car, possibly her husband,'' Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Al Grotefend said. ``There was some miscommunication.''

Smoot told investigators she discovered the boys in their car seats when she returned in the afternoon and pulled them from the vehicle.

The 5-year-old was dead. His brother, who was severely dehydrated, died a short time later at a hospital, sheriff's Sgt. Paul Patterson said.

Afternoon temperatures hovered around 100 degrees in the high desert town about 70 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

Officials from the Department of Children and Family Services said they will investigate.

A woman who answered the phone at A Child's Place Daycare declined to comment. Friends and parents gathered Tuesday at the 24-hour day care center.

Naeemah Edwards, whose daughter attended the center, told KABC-TV she was shocked.

``They come in with my daughter, and they play together,'' she said, adding that she would not let her child to return to the center.

AP-NY-07-09-03 0642EDT

Copyright 2003, The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP Online news report may not be published, broadcast or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: California
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To: Chemist_Geek
We have a hybrid, and a kid would die in it if they were left in it for 5 hours.

It really doesn't matter what kind of car it is.

(By the way, hubby and I are die-hard republicans and my husband loves the hybrid because of the cool technology and the way it drives. He likes that it's better for the environment, but wouldn't drive it if he had to make any sacrifices on convenience.)
101 posted on 07/09/2003 3:35:25 PM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: BMiles2112
One reason to get a hyrid is that you have a long commute, and they drive great! They handle much nicer than similar non-hybrid vehicles, and they are extremely quiet.

Unless you have test driven one, I wouldn't make a comparison.

My husband loves his much better than his old Mazda RX-7 sports car or his Ford Explorer.
102 posted on 07/09/2003 3:38:58 PM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: Henrietta
Did you realize that lawyers WERE illegal by the Constitution of the United States? but it was changed?

The bar is totally illegal becasue by it's own laws and procedures, it bears no loyalty to the United States of America.

But then, LAWYERS make the laws, interpret the laws, and enforce the laws.

I guess there is only ONE way to change the laws then....... ??
103 posted on 07/09/2003 4:08:27 PM PDT by steplock
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
I wonder why they were put in foster homes in the first place. Were they in danger of being neglected?
104 posted on 07/09/2003 4:18:33 PM PDT by Walnut
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To: joesnuffy
the way they pass out prozac I wouldn't doubt. I can't believe it. The case where the husband left the child in the car because he wasn/t used to the routine was bad enough but two? How do you leave two children even for a minute in that heat. (that may have been a woman who left the child to die while she worked all day. forgetting to bring the baby to day care. )Either way Its a hell of a shame to put it mildy also what was the reason for the foster parents in the first place. maybe they should have been left where they were. they would probubly still be alive.
105 posted on 07/09/2003 4:25:21 PM PDT by Walnut
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To: Walnut
Here where I live, many children are placed with immediate family members. That sounds like a solution, but it often isn't. Quite frequently the children are no safer with an aunt or uncle, if they are moved. Children's services needs to be overhauled in much of the country.
106 posted on 07/09/2003 4:31:41 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Lurking since 2000.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
I agree l00% The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing in most cases. I have so many reservations about the system its not even funny. In the mean time the kids will keep on suffering until they get it together. I think if they didn't pay the foster parents instead makeing it a rule that if they want children then they have to be able to afford them then only the people who really want to have children to love and rescue would get them. or provide food vouchers and clothes vouchers no rent or mortgage money . If they are on the level they don't need incentives. even the poorest of families get along fine without abuse.
I'm steady thinking of a solution. It has to be of the heart not of the pocketbook and believe me I have talked to foster parents who are in it for the money (They were) they are no longer foster parents. That was 50 years ago or so . It just goes to show you the problem has been here for a very ling time.
107 posted on 07/09/2003 5:01:44 PM PDT by Walnut
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To: Walnut
http://www.wsmv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1354291&nav=1TcRGocM

A one year old died in a van in Nashville today, too.
108 posted on 07/09/2003 5:06:52 PM PDT by pnz1
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To: pnz1
Just damn.
109 posted on 07/09/2003 5:11:29 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Lurking since 2000.)
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To: newgeezer
Smoot told investigators she discovered the boys in their car seats when she returned in the afternoon and pulled them from the vehicle.
The Slimes' article had this:
 
She returned to the car five hours later and discovered the bodies on the floor, he said. The older boy apparently had unstrapped the younger one from his car seat.
And when I read that I cried for a good ten minutes.

110 posted on 07/09/2003 5:42:24 PM PDT by AnnaZ (unspunwithannaz.blogspot.com... "It is UNSPUN and it is Unspun, but it is not unspun." -- unspun)
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To: pnz1
God help those poor poor children. How did the mother not miss the child all day? Am I missing something here? Now heres a mother leaving the child. Now I'm at a loss as to what to do. If this mother left the child in the car all day and went on the trip she should be arrested. no doubt about it.. She was responsible for the child getting inside . You need to carry out the full act of bringing your child or the child that is in your charge to the point of saftey. from your home to the INSIDE of the day care centers.
111 posted on 07/09/2003 5:46:53 PM PDT by Walnut
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To: steplock
"The bar is totally illegal becasue by it's own laws and procedures, it bears no loyalty to the United States of America."

Oh, right...that must be why, when I was sworn into the bar, I was required to take an oath to uphold the laws and the Constitution of the United States of America, and of the State of Oregon.

You sound like you lost your tinfoil hat, pal.
112 posted on 07/09/2003 5:54:20 PM PDT by Henrietta
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To: hellinahandcart
My grandson is four and rides a two wheeler w/o training wheels! The little stinkpot!

113 posted on 07/09/2003 6:05:18 PM PDT by Lijahsbubbe
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To: Support Free Republic
I think this is inappropriate for this post.
114 posted on 07/09/2003 6:29:38 PM PDT by GATOR NAVY (20 years in the Navy; never drunk on duty, never sober on liberty)
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To: newgeezer
It looks like the Viking Kittens have come to this thread and swept up all the kookiekrumbs. I have not seen such a thorough ZOT in a long time. Usually the X-treme ZOTZAPALOOZA is a maneuver reserved for recidivists from Stormfront, DU and Voz de Atzlan.

Hmmmm....gotta double my donation this quarter.

You go Admin Mods!


115 posted on 07/09/2003 6:30:21 PM PDT by Alouette
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To: newgeezer
Thanks for the reminder. She was charged, but never went to a jury. I believe that the prosecution agreed to a bench trial as opposed to a jury trial. Never really figured that one out.
116 posted on 07/09/2003 7:25:09 PM PDT by cspackler (There are 10 kinds of people in this world, those who understand binary and those who don't.)
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To: luckystarmom
I'm sure it won't be long before all vehicles will have to be equipped with a device that detects motion inside the vehicle after it's shut off for a certain amount of time.
117 posted on 07/09/2003 8:23:07 PM PDT by Lijahsbubbe
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To: steplock
Did you realize that lawyers WERE illegal by the Constitution of the United States? but it was changed?

That's a load of crap.

118 posted on 07/09/2003 10:00:27 PM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: Rodney King
When someone passes the Bar exam and is admitted to the Bar to practice law in a State, they become an Officer of the Court. This makes them part of the Judicial branch of government. If they then run for public office and are elected to the legislature or to an executive office, it means that they simultaneously serve in two branches of government. This violates the principle of the Separation of Powers.


Now -what's a load of BS ?? Besides lawyers, of course...
119 posted on 07/09/2003 10:05:46 PM PDT by steplock
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To: luckystarmom
They handle much nicer than similar non-hybrid vehicles

According to the Car and Driver Road Test, one of the Honda Insight's "lows" was its "Humpty Dumpty handling."

Of the 11 categories polled, the Toyota Prius received its lowest User's Road Tests ratings for its handling.

Add a few hundred pounds to a compact Japanese car and -- especially if fuel efficiency is key -- handling must be compromised.

120 posted on 07/09/2003 10:48:32 PM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary.)
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To: steplock
OK, please explain how lawyers were unconsitutional, but that the constitution has since been changed. That is whay I called a load of crap.
121 posted on 07/09/2003 11:36:12 PM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: Rodney King
I was TRYING to hide the fact that I screwed up that statement! YOU must be a lawyer too!

But I stand by the fact that LAWYERS are consitutionally banned to be representatives, senators, etc...UNLESS they renounce their standings in the bar. Not that it would stop them from writting insane and otherwise unconstituinoal laws simply to benefit other lawyers like themselves.

I will revise my statements that ALL lawyers are PIGS ... only 99%+ of lawyers are pigs.
122 posted on 07/10/2003 8:32:44 AM PDT by steplock
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To: newgeezer
I don't know about the Insight. We needed a practical family car, and the Insight is a 2 seater. We have never driven one.

As for the Prius, the ride was a 9.11 out of 10, and it's overall rating was a 9.64 out of 10 on the User's Road test.

Like I said, my husband liked it much better than the other cars he test drove, but this really isn't the issue on this thread.

The issue is the poor children that died. You were just making some cheap shots at hybrid owners for some unknown reason. Since I have a hybrid, I take offense at your remarks.
123 posted on 07/10/2003 10:03:17 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: luckystarmom
As for the Prius, the ride was a 9.11 out of 10, and it's overall rating was a 9.64 out of 10 on the User's Road test.

"Ride" (9.11) wasn't the subject; "handling" (7.68) was. You specifically said "They handle much nicer than similar non-hybrid vehicles." Ride is different than handling, much like taste is different than texture. Up to a point, ride does improve with added weight. Handling does not.

but this really isn't the issue on this thread. The issue is the poor children that died.

I'm very well aware of that. However, when I saw your claim, I chose to weigh in on the topic that you were discussing.

You were just making some cheap shots at hybrid owners for some unknown reason. Since I have a hybrid, I take offense at your remarks.

I did no such thing. That was someone else. I'm way more open-minded than most FReepers when it comes to hybrids. I've heard their owners can be rather fanatical and/or defensive, though. ;-)

124 posted on 07/10/2003 10:30:06 AM PDT by newgeezer (We learn by trail and errror. :-)
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To: newgeezer
I hope parents pull their kids form that daycare or better yet RAISE YOUR OWN CHILDREN and STOP worshipping the almighty dollar. In the old days, people did with less to raise their won kids. Now you have parent(s) over extended with debt to live beyond their means and of course the kids suffer when it comes to parents being around.

It's not about "quality" of time. It is all about quanity of time. It's unpredictable when your child will need a hug, kiss, encouragement. You can's schedule these REAL emotional needs and paid strangers who could care less, ration whatever affection they have, if any for these little ones.

Flame away self absorbed money worshipping "parent(s)".

125 posted on 07/10/2003 10:37:52 AM PDT by nmh
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To: nmh
I agree. Although I think there are many moms who would like to be at home, I have known couples who have a more than average home, more than one new car and boats or other toys.

They have a baby and then go right to work.

I saw a sign at a daycare when I was driving one day. It said, 'Welcome new babies!' It made me cringe.
126 posted on 07/10/2003 11:08:14 AM PDT by Lijahsbubbe
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To: nmh
Almost thirteen years ago, my wife and I were DINKs (dual income, no kids) doing the career thing for a large, multinational company. Then, we had our first child. Although we'd both been raised by at-home moms, it was pretty much a given that my wife would return to work after the six-week maternity leave. (After all, that's what everyone else was doing.) The mortgage and two car payments, although not excessive, were enough to keep us both working now that we had a baby. Thus, a slot was reserved in advance at our employer's award-winning, in-house day-care facility.

Then, out of nowhere, came the opportunity of a lifetime. Less than two weeks after the baby was born, the company announced impending layoffs. Four hundred would have to go. However, before the axe fell, anyone who would volunteer to be let go would be rewarded with double the usual severance pay (in addition to any accrued vacation). I took the news home that evening, and there was no doubt. We paid off both cars with her severance pay, and haven't looked back.

Some years later, we both came to know the Lord and realize it was His doing. If it hadn't been for those layoffs, our kids would likely have been raised by daycare providers. The Lord is good!

127 posted on 07/11/2003 8:34:33 AM PDT by newgeezer (fundamentalist, regarding the Constitution AND the Holy Bible, i.e. WORDS MEAN THINGS)
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