Orange County Parents Accused of Leaving 3-Year-Old in Hot Car

The girl was in good condition with relatives as of Monday, police say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Parents of a 3-year-old girl who was left inside a sweltering hot car Sunday claimed they forgot their daughter. Vikki Vargas reports from Santa Ana for the NBC4 News at 5 on Monday, July 28, 2014. (Published Monday, Jul 28, 2014)

    A 3-year-old girl was recovering Monday after police found her inside a 104-degree car in an Orange County shopping mall parking lot one day earlier, officials said.

    The toddler was found about 4:45 p.m. Sunday in a black Nissan Quest van parked outside the Brea Mall after someone saw her and called police, according to the Brea Police Department.

    The girl was in the car about 15 to 20 minutes, police said.

    Police told the girl to unlock the van, which she did just before they were about to break one of the windows. She was taken to a hospital and in good condition as of Monday.

    "When you get somebody in that kind of heat, your body goes into a mode where it's trying to cool down and you become dehydrated very very quickly," Brea Police Lt. Bill Smyser said. "When the body becomes dehydrated, it basically starts shutting down, and that's when somebody can actually come into comatose or death."

    The girl's mother, 33-year-old Ho Kim, and father, 35-year-old Tae Kim, both of Fullerton, were arrested in connection with felony child endangerment.

    "Once they found out that and realized they left their child, they were in panic," Smyser said. "They were heartbroken."

    The couple was released on bond, and the girl is with her relatives, Brea police said Monday.

    An Orange County District Attorney's Office spokesman said Monday he did not know whether charges would be filed or if the couple has an attorney.

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