Mom Charged With Manslaughter After 1-Year-Old Dies in Hot Car

Credit: handout/police
Credit: handout/police

She forgot her daughter was in the car, her attorney said.

A mother has been charged with manslaughter after leaving her 1-year-old daughter in a hot car in Oregon.

Nicole Engler, a pediatric nurse, was given a $50,000 bail when she was charged with second-degree manslaughter after accidentally forgetting her daughter, Remy, was in the back seat as she drove herself to work last Thursday.

A fund was set up by community members in Remy's honor following the tragedy.

It was previously reported that donations helped fund Engler's bond, but according to Engler's attorney, David Terry, he paid the $5,000 to bond her out.

The mom didn’t discover her unresponsive daughter until after 4 p.m. that afternoon when her shift ended, according to Terry. The 38-year-old mother didn’t realize the baby was in the car at noon when she went to go get coffee.

"When queried by the baristas as to how her daughter was, she responded, 'Having another happy play day' at day care," Terry wrote in a letter to the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. "We can never know if her daughter was still alive at that moment.”

Terry is asking Douglas County prosecutors to drop the case, considering the circumstances.

On the day of Remy’s death, Engler decided to take her daughter to day care, which her husband usually does, because she wanted to let him sleep after he’d worked a late shift at his job, according to Terry.

Terry said Engler suffered a lapse of awareness, a theory that changes in routine cause otherwise responsible parents to forget they have children in the vehicle with them.

Engler panicked when she found her daughter and could be heard screaming in the parking lot, Terry said. She rushed the toddler back into the medical facility where she works and staff performed CPR until an ambulance arrived.

Remy was later pronounced dead.

"This is not about a heartless mother who does the unthinkable,” Terry wrote.

The temperature was about 80 degrees on Thursday.