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A San Diego woman who allegedly put her infant daughter's life at risk by leaving her in a car at a South Bay strip mall amid triple-digit afternoon heat was released from custody Wednesday after posting bail.
A maintenance worker at the shopping center in the 2400 block of East Plaza Boulevard in National City reported seeing the 4-month-old strapped in a child seat in the back of a parked sedan with its windows rolled up shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday, according to Sgt. Julian Villagomez.
Officers found the baby unresponsive and "sweating profusely" inside the vehicle and forced entry to get her out, the sergeant said.
The mother, 25-year-old Starley Cristal Geart, then emerged from a nearby clothing store, telling police she had intended to leave her daughter alone in the car briefly, he said.
Medics were able to revive the infant, who apparently had been locked in the vehicle for about 10 minutes, according to Villagomez. She was then taken to Children's Hospital in San Diego, where she was treated, evaluated and released into protective custody.
Geart was booked on suspicion of felony child endangerment at the women's detention center in Santee. She made bail late this morning and was released on her own recognizance, a jail clerk said.
After the baby was rescued, police and firefighters closed up the suspect's car again to test how hot the interior might have gotten while she was alone inside. They concluded that the temperature had reached a life-threatening level, possibly as high as 140 degrees, Villagomez said.
"She probably would have died in a few more minutes," he said.
-City News Service