LAGUNA HILLS – A Laguna Hills woman was arrested Monday after she left her 2-month-old son alone in a car for more than half an hour while she shopped in a mall, authorities said.
Deputies about 1:15 p.m. responded to reports of a child left in a car in the parking lot of the Laguna Hills Mall, said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The deputies saw a vehicle matching the description witnesses had provided them driving away from the parking lot and stopped the female driver, Amormino said.
The driver, who authorities identified as Fernanda Marina Gomes-Sotozono, 34, was arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment, Amormino said. Her baby boy was checked out by paramedics at the scene before being taken into custody by protective services.
Based on surveillance video from the mall, investigators believe Gomes-Sotozono left the baby in her vehicle for at least 35 minutes while she shopped at Victoria’s Secret and a jewelry store. She left the windows of her vehicle down, Amormino said, but the temperature in the parking lot at the time was around 91 degrees.
“You never, ever leave a baby unattended in a car,” Amormino said. “Of course, you have the heat factor, but you also have the danger of kidnapping.”
By SEAN EMERY / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
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