Tianna Jones Phoenix, Arizona mother charged w/ child abuse after 3 year old daughter, Delilah found dead in parked car. Mom had gone out night before drinking and doing drugs, slept all day next day.
A Phoenix, Arizona woman was arrested on suspicion of child abuse after her 3-year-old daughter was found unconscious in her car and died on Sunday afternoon, according to authorities. While an autopsy is pending, it is suspected the child’s death was the result of hot car death as temperatures reached into the high 90’s, low 100’s over the weekend.
Tianna Jones, 23, initially reported her daughter, Delilah, missing from her Phoenix apartment. At some point, Jones reportedly told officers canvassing the area that her car keys were also missing, Arizona Republic reports.
Police said the toddler was ultimately found unresponsive in Jones’ car, which was in the apartment complex’s parking lot. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Jones allegedly revealed her daughter had escaped from the apartment on multiple instances due to a faulty latch on the front door. Further, surveillance footage showed the girl leaving the apartment and getting into Jones’ car at 11:52 a.m.
Long night of drugs & booze
Jones allegedly confessed to drinking alcohol and using cocaine while partying the night before. She reportedly told officers that she picked her daughter up the following morning at 10.30am from her mother’s home, before returning home with Delilah, to sleep, AZFamily reports.
Jones said she had fallen asleep for about three hours when her daughter walked out of the home and made her way to the car and got inside where she was later found by police.
According to Jones, the 23 year old woke up at one point and didn’t hear her daughter or know her whereabouts. She continued to sleep for another 30 minutes, KNXV reported.
Records indicated that the Department of Child Services previously removed Delilah from her mother due to neglect. Details of that case were not known.
Jones allegedly told police that she regularly failed to lock the front door. She recalled an instance in which she locked herself out of her apartment and her daughter climbed on the couch and unlocked the door, according to KNXV.
Jones reportedly claimed that she planned to move the couch so the 3-year-old couldn’t access the safety lock. It is not immediately known whether the door was unlocked Sunday or the toddler unlocked the safety lock.
The medical examiner is in the process of confirming her daughter’s cause of death.
Safety precautions parents advise
According to No Heat Stroke, the Arizona toddler is the 20th child to die in a hot car this year. In 2019, 52 children died of vehicular heatstroke. Of note, nearly half of this year’s hot car deaths involved children who got into the vehicle on their own.
There are several measures parents can take to prevent children from getting stuck in hot cars, KidsAndCars.org advised:
- Use childproofing door knobs and door alarms to prevent children from slipping out unattended.
- Keep all vehicles locked, including those parked in a garage.
- Never leave car keys within reach of children.
- Teach children to honk the horn if they become stuck inside a car.
- If a child is missing, immediately and carefully check the inside, floorboards and trunk of all vehicles in the area.