A Florida woman has been praised by police and the community after saving the life of a baby boy she found in the backseat of a hot car.
Jessica Kaiser was walking past a black Nissan Rogue in a Orange City parking lot Tuesday when she saw what she thought was a doll in the backseat, according to a police report. Upon closer inspection, she realized it was a baby sitting in the 93-degree heat with the windows rolled up, the report states. She opened the door, which was unlocked, and called 911.
Sheriff Mike Chitwood of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office posted a video on Facebook describing the scene and thanking Kaiser for taking action.
"We avoided a disaster," Chitwood says in the video. "Thank the good lord for a good Samaritan by the name of Jessica Kaiser.”
About 24 minutes after the 911 call was made by Kaiser, the baby boy’s mother, 33-year-old Meagan Burgess, arrived back at her vehicle, according to authorities.
"Is he OK?" Burgess asks in video of the moment posted by officials.
"Yes, he’s OK," Kaiser responds.
Burgess then hugs her and thanks her. “I know, you’re welcome," Kaiser says. “I’m sorry.”
Chitman said if Kaiser had not been as observant as she was, he would be discussing a tragedy involving an 8-month-old child.
Burgess has been arrested and charged with child neglect.
"I work in the emergency department, like I’m a nurse and I hear these stories," Burgess says in the video. "I have four kids and all I say is, 'How can that possibly ever happen?'"
“It happened,” a responder replies.
Chitman said Burgess told investigators she forgot her child in the car after dropping off her other three children at her father’s house before running errands.
The sheriff then addressed the heat in a car without air conditioning and the responsibility of a parent.
"I challenge anyone to sit in the car an adult to sit in the car for 24 minutes at 3 o’clock in the afternoon with the sun blazing down and see what the end result would be,” Chitman said.
"We can’t hammer home enough how important it is for parents to stay on top of their game and understand that that little life is depending on you."