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Central Florida parents charged after 18-month-old girl died in hot vehicle

By Chelsea Robinson

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    POLK COUNTY, Florida (WESH) — Sheriff Grady Judd held a news conference on Thursday afternoon regarding the “horrible” death of an 18-month-old girl.

“It was all because of negligence and drug use,” he said.

Judd said it started July 4 when Joel Rondon and Jasmine Rondon attended a party with a 6-year-old, 8-year-old and 18-month old in Lakeland.

In the early morning hours of July 5, the two returned home. Jasmine brought the 6-year-old and 8-year-old inside.

Joel took some food inside and assumed the toddler was taken inside.

Judd said Joel woke up at 10 a.m. and got ready to go to work. That is when Joel discovered the 18-month-old dead inside the vehicle. The heat index was above 100, Judd said.

The couple rushed the baby to the hospital, but nothing could be done.

Seventeen hours later, the two were given drug tests.

Officials say Jasmine tested positive for alcohol and marijuana and Joel tested positive for alcohol, marijuana and meth.

“So you can imagine what state they were in when they returned home from that party,” Judd said.

Joel and Jasmine will be charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child.

Judd said the baby still had a core temperature of 104 several hours after being removed from the hot car.

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