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A 34-year-old mother was arrested Monday afternoon on suspicion of leaving her 2-month-old son in a hot car parked at the Laguna Hills Mall, where temperatures reached 91 degrees, police said.
Fernanda Marina Gomes-Sotozono was arrested shortly after 1 p.m. and booked on suspicion of felony child endangerment. A passerby noticed the infant alone in a vehicle, the windows of which were open, said Jim Amormino, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
“There’s two dangers here,” Amormino said. “One danger is kidnapping, second danger is a heat factor. It was 91 degrees outside.”
Police believe Gomes-Sotozono was in the mall for about 35 minutes or longer, and shopped at Victoria’s Secret and a jewelry store.
When officers approached Gomes-Sotozono, she jumped in the car and attempted to drive off but detectives caught up with her, Amormino said.
She told officers she was in the mall for “a short period of time,” but surveillance video showed she was inside for at least 35 minutes, he said.
The infant is under the care of child protective services, Amormino said.
Gomes-Sotozono is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to OC Sheriff’s online inmate records.