Two parents have been arrested in Brea, California, after police found the couple’s 3-year-old daughter alone locked inside their hot car while they shopped.
Ho Kim, 33, and her husband Tae Kim, 35, both residents of Fullerton, are accused of leaving their little girl locked inside the vehicle at the Brea Mall parking lot while they were inside shopping, authorities said.
Statistics show that 18 children have died so far this year after suffering heatstroke after being left in hot cars, the Daily Mail reports.
The girl was saved after a passerby noticed her inside the black Nissan Quest minivan and immediately called the police.
Officers arrived at the parking lot at around 4:45 p.m. Sunday and were able to instruct the girl on how to open the doors.
The temperature outside of the van was 91 degrees, but the temperature inside was 104 degrees, according to a police report.
The child reportedly had been left inside the van for about 20 minutes. She was taken to a hospital where she was found to be in good condition, a Brea Police Department spokesman said.
"When you get somebody in that kind of heat, your body goes into a mode where it's trying to cool down and you become dehydrated very very quickly," Brea Police Lt. Bill Smyser told NBC Los Angeles. "When the body becomes dehydrated, it basically starts shutting down, and that's when somebody can actually come into comatose or death."
Both parents were arrested in connection with felony child endangerment. The couple was released on $100,000 bond, and the girl is with her relatives, police said.