A 2-year-old Florida boy died Tuesday in the Tampa-area after being left inside a hot sport-utility vehicle for more than five hours, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
The child, Jacob Manchego, was discovered around 2:30 p.m. at a shopping plaza located in Brandon Fla.
“I see the lady running from the car with the baby’s limp, look like she was trying to get some help for the baby," said King Bibbs, who witnessed the tragedy unfold.
A Hillsborough County Sheriff's spokesman told WFTS-TV the toddler was rushed to Brandon Regional Hospital in extreme critical condition, but later died.
“It’s heartbreaking," said Jessica Smith. "I couldn’t imagine if that was my baby. I don’t know what I would do.”
Investigators said the child's half-sister, Fiorella Vanessa Silva-Tello, left the boy in the SUV.
She worked at Best Friends for Kidz, a Christian-based learning center located in the plaza. She is cooperating with detectives.
Silva-Tello arrived for work around 9 a.m. and discovered the boy around 2:30 p.m. when she went out for a break, detectives said.
"How can you forget about a kid being in your car? I don't care how busy you are," said Smith.
Smith's daughter, Hazel, goes to BFF Kidz but she is now thinking of making a change after Tuesday's devastating loss.
"I don't want to bring my daughter back," Smith said in tears. "How could you let that happen?"
The day care did not want to comment in person, but later posted a statement outside their building that read in part, "Today, a sweet little boy passed away. He had a remarkable laugh, he was full of energy and he loved to give hugs... We are keeping Jacob's family in our prayers. For reasons unknown at this time his sister made a tragic mistake. We feel confident in this statement as an intentional act of cruelty would not be within her means... Jacob was not in our care on this day so there is nothing we could change to fix this tragedy."
Local meteorologists say the temperature pushed 90 degrees in Brandon on Tuesday.