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A 3-month-old baby girl died in a hot car, and police arrested her teenage father in a tragic incident that shows the dangers of leaving a child unattended in a vehicle.
Joshua Stryzanski, 18, is charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death, The Indianapolis Star reports. Police in Greenfield, Ind., found Stryzanski's daughter inside his car about 3:35 p.m. Saturday, when temperatures soared to over 100 degrees.
Stryzanski's baby was left in the car for "an extended period of time," police said, and she was pronounced dead at a hospital. The incident shows how leaving a child alone inside a vehicle can lead to criminal charges.
It's not clear why Joshua Stryzanski allegedly left his baby alone in a hot car. But the young father faces a felony neglect charge under Indiana law. Because the alleged neglect led to the death of a child under 12, Stryzanski could face a minimum of 20 years behind bars if convicted.
In addition to neglect, a parent or guardian who leaves a child unattended in a car, even for a short time, can also face other charges related to child endangerment.
In fact, laws in 15 states make it explicitly illegal to leave a child unattended in a vehicle, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A conviction can come with a range of possible penalties, depending on the child's age, the severity of a child's injuries, and other factors.
At about the same time Joshua Stryzanski's 3-month-old baby died in a hot car, police in nearby Fishers, Ind., rescued another girl from a hot SUV in a separate incident. The 16-month-old girl suffered a seizure inside a 124-degree vehicle but is recovering, police said. The girl's 30-year-old mother, who'd left her daughter in the car while she went shopping, is also charged with felony child neglect, The Indianapolis Star reports.