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Deputies: Woman arrested in death of Florida boy who spent more than 7 hours in hot car

The child's mother reportedly told deputies Dougkindra Wallace was in charge of taking the boy to and from daycare.
Credit: Orange County Sheriff's Office, WKMG-TV
Dougkindra Wallace

ORLANDO, Fla. — Deputies arrested a 34-year-old woman and charged her in the death of a 1-year-old boy who spent more than seven hours in a hot car in Orlando, the sheriff's office said.

Dougkindra Wallace was charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child and child neglect, according to the arrest report.

On the morning of Sept. 11, Wallace was in charge of taking Jace Leslie to daycare, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said. This was based on an arrangement between her and Leslie's mother, something that had reportedly been ongoing for the past 10 months.

Deputies say Wallace picked up the boy at 7:30 a.m., and his sister helped to put him in his car seat located in the back. Wallace's own child was said to be in the backseat, as well.

About 10 minutes later, Wallace dropped her child off at daycare, the sheriff's office said. It was around that time when she reportedly made a phone call that lasted about half an hour.

All the while, deputies say she drove to Rolling Hills Elementary School where she taught, left the car running so she could get out and get a COVID-19 temperature check and returned to park the car in the teacher's lot. She turned the car off and got out, the report reads.

At 3:21 p.m., deputies say Wallace got out of work and drove to a student's house to drop off a textbook. At 3:40 p.m., she arrived at Leslie's daycare and found the child still in the back seat buckled up.

RELATED: Preventing hot car deaths: Florida family mourns 1-year-old death

Wallace, deputies say, likely was distracted while on the phone and forgot about the child. The temperature reached highs of 105 degrees with the heat index. 

"Our thoughts are with baby Jace’s family," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

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