Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

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)
Go to CBSNews.com Home

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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
KEYWORDS:
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-127 next last
What kind of person who was taking care of children would not even check on them for five hours!

She is a foster mother? Not anymore I hope!
51 posted on 07/09/2003 11:49:33 AM PDT by Mary's Child
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: jodenkoekje
As for Pat Robertson, if you're such a religious Jew, why don't you care about Jews being coerced away from Judaism
by seductive missionary movements targeted specifically toward those with a weak religious education and/or unstable
families?"

I can't speak for Alouette, but me and my ilk devote time and money to fighting this process, even risking jail time. For someone who is either a lapsed Jew or not even Jewish, you seem to define the problem.

" If you don't think this is a problem, I suggest you view the numbers on the American Jewish community,
which has actually shrunk over the last fifty years."

With what help from you to combat this?

" While you are showering me with flames, Mr. Religious Jew, please enlighten us as to why the Temple was destroyed in
70 CE. I would love to hear your insights. "

How about some of it was casued by baseless hatred fanned by ignorant generalizers like you?
52 posted on 07/09/2003 11:50:25 AM PDT by Yehuda (http://www.JewPoint.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 50 | View Replies]

Comment #53 Removed by Moderator

Comment #54 Removed by Moderator

To: Clara Lou
Or is Smoot simply a liar?

Right. Smoot: "Who ya gonna believe? Me, or the deputies?"

55 posted on 07/09/2003 12:01:02 PM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: jodenkoekje
While you are showering me with flames, Mr. Religious Jew, please enlighten us as to why the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE. I would love to hear your insights.

It was because of the same sinat hinom (unjustified hatred) EXPRESSED BY YOU in your nasty posts, your bigoted stereotyping of an entire group of people as though these identical tragedies never ever happen to anyone else, and then topping it off by insulting me for not agreeing with you.

As for calling me a "Welfare Bum" NotaCookie, at the same time whining that I "flamed you", I'm an educated professional who is CONSTANTLY hustling for contract jobs because the IT industry sucks so bad. I don't take handouts and I am continuously struggling to find a job. You owe me an apology.

Pat Robertson is not an anti-Semite and he is not a bad man. Proseltyzing for his religion is a requirement of his faith. It is not his fault that some of the liberal denominations of Judaism fail to provide their members with enough scriptural expertise to counter the arguments of a missionary.

You probably did not bother to read the Jerusalem Post article I linked to either.

56 posted on 07/09/2003 12:03:04 PM PDT by Alouette
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 50 | View Replies]

To: hellinahandcart
I am surprised, but you all missed it.

She left the kids in the truck ON PURPOSE. Left them there for her husband to PICK UP> Used the car as a temporary play pen. (holding pen)

Also; the five year old, if in his car seat, probably couldnt unfasten the seat belt. If tight, they can be difficult for an adult to unfasten.

Shoot the B****
57 posted on 07/09/2003 12:03:56 PM PDT by Capt.YankeeMike (get outta my pocket, outta my car, and outta the schools)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: steplock
"The charge is MURDER."

Not to put too fine a point on it, but since there was no intent to kill, she'll probably be charged with manslaughter (reckless disregard of human life).
58 posted on 07/09/2003 12:04:14 PM PDT by Henrietta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: lainie
gee none of this would have happened if the lady just drove one of those electric hybrids /sarc

I know you marked it, but I'm curious why you decided to throw that in.

Electric hybrids are superior in many ways - fuel efficiency, emissions, etc. - to the SUV in which these boys died.

No one, however, ever says that electric hybrids will prevent stupid adults from harming children. Did your comment just come from your hatred of hybrids?

59 posted on 07/09/2003 12:05:13 PM PDT by Chemist_Geek ("Drill, R&D, and conserve" should be our watchwords! Energy independence for America!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

Comment #60 Removed by Moderator

To: wideawake
Alouette - get a load of post 9.

Thanks so much for escalating the p*ssing match.

61 posted on 07/09/2003 12:06:04 PM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Alouette
Pat Robertson is not an anti-Semite and he is not a bad man. Proseltyzing for his religion is a requirement of his faith. It is not his fault that some of the liberal denominations of Judaism fail to provide their members with enough scriptural expertise to counter the arguments of a missionary.

Wow.

That's about the most evenhanded treatment of missionaries I've seen on FR.

62 posted on 07/09/2003 12:06:16 PM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 56 | View Replies]

To: Chemist_Geek
Electric hybrids are superior in many ways - fuel efficiency, emissions, etc. - to the SUV in which these boys died.

Well yeah, but they are far inferior in lots of other ways.. Size, hauling capacity, safety, not looking like a fag.. etc.

63 posted on 07/09/2003 12:08:02 PM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 59 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer; Alouette
When someone's community is being slandered behind their back, and I don't have the knowledge to refute the slanderer I think that calling in an expert makes sense.

Too many people on FR love to make nasty all-encompassing judgments about other people's religious communities. I don't think they should go unchallenged.

64 posted on 07/09/2003 12:10:03 PM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 61 | View Replies]

To: jodenkoekje
Obviously, you haven't been to Israel in a while, which would explain why you are so pro-Haredi.

Do people cut lines a lot there? If you challenge them do they acquiesce?

Just curious. In Zurich people just walk down the sidewalk without regard to anyone else and just bump right into you. It's quite amusing really. They are not good about lines either. They don't outright cut if the line exists, but if the line has any gaps or is just sort of forming they can be quite rude.

And of course, like all Eruopean nations, one in 10 of them hasn't showered in a month, so on the tram you are often exposed to terrible B.O.

65 posted on 07/09/2003 12:11:34 PM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 60 | View Replies]

To: jodenkoekje; Alouette; Yehuda; wideawake
Would you folks kindly take your p*ssing match elsewhere? I'd hate to see this thread get axed on account of it.

wide: Next time, please consider clicking the Report Abuse link, and get the offending comment removed. Then, if you still want to get something going, try FReepmail.

66 posted on 07/09/2003 12:12:41 PM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 60 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer
How many of these women are on prozac or a generic equivilant or a cocktail of other psycho-trophic drugs with little consideration to the synergistic affects

There is a ship load of people out there driving cars in charge of potentially dangerous equipment who may be more than a few fries short a happy meal...

How else could you "forget" you locked children in a hot car...their attention drawn to a sale in the mall or something else equally pressing...and they completely "space out" something as critical as a child's life..
67 posted on 07/09/2003 12:14:34 PM PDT by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #68 Removed by Moderator

To: Capt.YankeeMike
We had a case similar to this here in Iowa last year. Upwardly mobile professional woman "forgot" to drop her 8 month old off before going to work at the hospital. Found her dead that afternoon in her car.

IIRC, no charges were filed. None.
69 posted on 07/09/2003 12:15:13 PM PDT by cspackler (There are 10 kinds of people in this world, those who understand binary and those who don't.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 57 | View Replies]

To: wideawake
I can't imagine a normal five year old being unable to get out of a car.

I wonder if he was strapped into a car seat.


70 posted on 07/09/2003 12:16:36 PM PDT by Sabertooth
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer
Thanks for the advice, but I still beleive that sunshine is the best disinfectant.
71 posted on 07/09/2003 12:16:41 PM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 66 | View Replies]

To: Sabertooth
Another good point.
72 posted on 07/09/2003 12:17:29 PM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 70 | View Replies]

To: jodenkoekje
why don't you care about Jews being coerced away from Judaism by seductive missionary movements targeted specifically toward those with a weak religious education

Are you referring to yourself? What missionary put a gun to your head and forced you into the Methodist church? Or was it the Presbyterian? Or did nobody coerce you, but you just go there for the socializing and the cookies?

My son lives in Moscow where he has built up thriving Jewish congregations OUT OF NOTHING, established Jewish schools, built mikvaos, soup kitchens, summer camps, Bible study groups all over the former Soviet Union where Judaism was previously declared extinct. He has brought literally TENS OF THOUSANDS of Jews back to their heritage. And he has been beaten up by skinheads and also by secular Jews who are jealous of his success.

Don't you dare ever again accuse me of taking welfare handouts or ignoring the religious and community needs of other Jews not members of my sect. What the hell have YOU EVER DONE other than you last nasty little bit of MOTZEE SHEM RA (that's the most serious form of LASHON HARA which you think you know about) accusing Jewish mothers of murdering their own babies?

73 posted on 07/09/2003 12:18:02 PM PDT by Alouette
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 50 | View Replies]

Comment #74 Removed by Moderator

To: jodenkoekje; Alouette; Yehuda; wideawake
Can't you all PLEASE take this to an appropriate place? Gettin' a little tiresome...
75 posted on 07/09/2003 12:21:18 PM PDT by cspackler (There are 10 kinds of people in this world, those who understand binary and those who don't.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 73 | View Replies]

Comment #76 Removed by Moderator

To: Henrietta
That's one of the weaknesses of law - WHO cares about killing babies? After all - that was only a "Later Term Abortion".

77 posted on 07/09/2003 12:34:16 PM PDT by steplock
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 58 | View Replies]

To: joesnuffy
"How many of these women are on prozac or a generic equivilant or a cocktail of other psycho-trophic drugs with little consideration to the synergistic affects"

Driving While Depressed... :o That would cover a large percentage of America! Wonder what the latest stats are......

78 posted on 07/09/2003 12:44:20 PM PDT by BossLady
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 67 | View Replies]

To: cspackler
I just took it to FR mail. I agree, taking a thread on two dead children to pee on others is sad.

Mea culpa for my not cutting it sooner.
79 posted on 07/09/2003 12:49:31 PM PDT by Yehuda (http://www.JewPoint.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 75 | View Replies]

To: Chemist_Geek
Electric hybrids are superior in many ways - fuel efficiency, emissions, etc. - to the SUV in which these boys died

Only superior if money is no object, and energy efficiency is everything. At this point, the electric hybrids are just fancy toys. You would have to put several hundred thousand miles on just to break even when compared to similarly equipped cars.

Oh wait, this is a post a stupid woman who deserves a firing squad. I got sidetracked.

80 posted on 07/09/2003 12:49:34 PM PDT by BMiles2112
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 59 | View Replies]

To: jodenkoekje
you have mail.
81 posted on 07/09/2003 12:50:06 PM PDT by Yehuda (http://www.JewPoint.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 76 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer
This isn't tragic! This is criminal! I cannot believe anyone with half a brain would not miss 2 children from 9 am until 2 pm. Where did she think the children were? If someone else would have brought them into the house - wouldn't she have seen them? It says, "when she came back" - back from where? - she's running a day care and she's not there. I'm outraged!
82 posted on 07/09/2003 12:53:56 PM PDT by CyberAnt ( America - You Are The Greatest!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Yehuda
you have mail.

Nobody by that name.

83 posted on 07/09/2003 12:58:45 PM PDT by newgeezer (Gun-control advocates are the NRA's best recruiters.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 81 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer
This is a public forum. If someone decides to violate the posting guidelines, then they should be informed in public. Clicking 'Abuse' is an option available to everyone, but not a compulsory requirement in order to maintain your delicate sensiblities. If the thread gets trashed, so be it . . . the mods can excise the offending remarks or excise the thread. In the latter case, the thread can be posted again. I do not feel that it would be a great loss to our society if the responses to a thread about two kids dying in a SUV would be lost.
84 posted on 07/09/2003 1:10:22 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 83 | View Replies]

To: CyberAnt
I got the impression she had the boys in the car as she drove to work (which happens to be a daycare). Instead of taking them inside with her (?!), she left them in the car. Her story seems to be that she thought her husband was going to show up shortly thereafter, retrieve the boys from the car, and take them with him.

In other words, she claims she was using the car (and car seats?) as a temporary holding cell for the two little boys, ages 3 and 5.

85 posted on 07/09/2003 1:12:15 PM PDT by newgeezer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 82 | View Replies]

To: cspackler
IIRC, no charges were filed. None.

Charged with involuntary manslaughter and neglect of a dependent person. Found not guilty.


86 posted on 07/09/2003 1:19:31 PM PDT by newgeezer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 69 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer
They should sentence her to 24 hours in the SUV on a hot sunny day and see how she does.
87 posted on 07/09/2003 1:43:44 PM PDT by finnman69 (!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: areafiftyone
The bad thing is this lady was in charge of the Day Care! In charge of all those kids!

BINGO. Day care horror story

88 posted on 07/09/2003 1:45:50 PM PDT by finnman69 (!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer
Whatever her excuse is - it cannot satisfy the reason for leaving children in a car - hot or not!!
89 posted on 07/09/2003 1:51:58 PM PDT by CyberAnt ( America - You Are The Greatest!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 85 | View Replies]

To: steplock
"That's one of the weaknesses of law - WHO cares about killing babies? After all - that was only a "Later Term Abortion"."

Look, whether or not the kids were killed is not the issue; the issue is what was the intent of the killer? People who kill through recklessness or negligence are not charged with first degree murder, which requires intent to kill, they are charged with manslaughter. It is not a weakness in the law; we have decided that negligent or reckless killings do not merit the same punishment as an intentional killing. This concept is not new; it has been recognized at common law for almost one thousand years.
90 posted on 07/09/2003 1:53:32 PM PDT by Henrietta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 77 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer
``There was some miscommunication.''

How comforting.

91 posted on 07/09/2003 1:55:27 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: finnman69
I say 10 hours (5 for each child), in the same temp., 9am to 2pm. And let everyone hold up pictures of the babies and signs that say "I think your husband is coming to get you." Throw in some babies crying so she canget that sound in her head.
92 posted on 07/09/2003 2:04:00 PM PDT by admiralsn (Some people are just plain ol' idjits!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 87 | View Replies]

To: admiralsn
When will these idiots EVER learn NOT to do this?!?!?!?!?!

Every summer we hear about half-a-dozen, or more, of these cases and it turns my stomach each time. Don't these people EVER watch the news or pick up a newspaper? Perhaps we need to start stringing some of these ignorant, self-absorbed sh*** up on telephone poles to get the message across to the others.

93 posted on 07/09/2003 2:13:38 PM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
I am serious. I agree with you. The more that I thought about this case, the more I thought about the fact that we never seem to stop hearing about cases like this one. Maybe we need more public service announcements and campaigns to help prevent this type of thing. Kind of like those urging caution at RailRoad crossings or something like that. Afterall, someone needs to stand up for these kids if their own parents won't defend them.
94 posted on 07/09/2003 2:26:31 PM PDT by admiralsn (Some people are just plain ol' idjits!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 93 | View Replies]

How much of this is due to the fact that the poor kids were immobilized in there car seats and unable to free themselves? Dunno 'bout the three year old, but at five I could dang sure get out of the car myself.
95 posted on 07/09/2003 2:41:55 PM PDT by Little Ray
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 94 | View Replies]

To: Henrietta
Aha! Henrietta is a LAWYER! :>)

Sounds like a DEFENSE LAWYER at that!

There was a story - I think it was part of Heinlein's "Lazarus" series - where Lazarus and his "daughters/sisters/female self" arrived at a planet where they had succeeded in ridding the planet of the lawyer vermin! (I won't detail how but I think it was called "Shakespear's Planet") The planet had become peaceful and very polite since that time.

True Justice was practiced - if you ran over someone because you were drunk (or other negligent act) - guess what!? Your punishment was that you were tied to the road while either the person you hit, or his closest survivor got to run over you with a car. Other punishments could be, by victims choice only, monetary compensation or slavery.

That made you reallll careful.

a true accident - no negligence - no punishment.

So in the case of this "woman" (signifies erroneously being human), her just punishment, as stated previously here, would be for her to be locked up in a car on a hot day and let her roast until dead.

NOW I remember how they got rid of the lawyers! If you were a lawyer and decided to try to get this female free, and you lost, your get to share in the punishment.

That also had the effect of no more frivolous law suits! Loser paid everything including what he was suing for!

After all - as per the whinney/wimpy left wing radicals - it's only fair! right!?
96 posted on 07/09/2003 2:43:42 PM PDT by steplock
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 90 | View Replies]

To: steplock
Hey, if you don't like the law, blame the guys in merry old England, not me. I'm just telling you what the law is, and what she's likely to be charged with. If you don't like it, then you should work to change the law.
97 posted on 07/09/2003 3:06:27 PM PDT by Henrietta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 96 | View Replies]

To: All
In my version of a perfect world, all mothers would be required to raise their own children .
Day care centers would be moot.
We made a conscious decision to do whatever it took...
I freelanced (illustration) from home, for publishers.
It was grueling at times but so worth it to be our kids'
mom and dad.
No one will love your kids more than you do, and I think
parents who put their kids in day care don't get that.




98 posted on 07/09/2003 3:22:54 PM PDT by b9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 88 | View Replies]

To: wideawake
The 5 year old was probably in a carseat, and some of those are hard to get out of.

Now, they have the locks on the door that make it so that the doors cannot be opened by someone on the inside of the car.
99 posted on 07/09/2003 3:29:42 PM PDT by luckystarmom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: areafiftyone
"Even if my kids wanted to stay in the car I would take them inside kicking and screaming if necessary."

Of course in this crazy world we live in you would have been arrested for upsetting the poor kids!
100 posted on 07/09/2003 3:34:15 PM PDT by ninergold3 (GOD BLESS AMERICA - GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-127 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson