Police: Florida baby dies after being left in hot car while mom went to find cocaine

Police: Florida baby dies after being left in hot car while mom went to find cocaine
Emily Hartman (Source: Brevard County Sheriff's Office)

MELBOURNE (WWSB) - A Florida woman is accused of leaving her infant in a hot car for almost five hours, causing the baby’s death, while she went to get cocaine and smoke marijuana.

On April 4 around 5pm, police in Melbourne, FL were called to Holmes Regional Medical Center after 26-year-old Emily Hartman of Palm Bay, FL arrived with her baby who had suffered from excessive exposure to heat. The infant was later transferred to Advent Hospital in Orlando, where his condition worsened and he later died.

According to police, Hartman told detectives that she left with her baby at 9pm on April 3, stopping to get something to eat before going out to drink with friends at two different bars, leaving her child in the car the entire time. Hartman reportedly told detectives she then went to a friend's house to drink, leaving around 2:30am, and then went to a pool to try to convince a friend to meet up with her and to bring beer.

Detectives say Hartman didn't get beer and stayed in the pool area, leaving around 6am to go to a home in Melbourne to buy cocaine. But because the dealer wasn't there, she spent another two hours driving around, stopping at a gas station, and then returning to the home.

According to what Hartman told detectives, she went inside around 8am, coming out 45 minutes later to get her phone charger and check on the child. Hartman says that the car was cold and the baby was asleep, so she went back inside. She told detectives she smoked two marijuana blunts and stayed in the home until 12:45pm.

The car was parked on the street and had full sun exposure. Temperatures that day reached 70-80 degrees. Inside the car, police say the temperatures would have been much higher.

Hartman says she was driving home when she heard her child making noises. She stopped to check on him and found he was in distress. That's when she drove to the fire station. Firefighters say when they saw the infant, he was in full seizure, was in obvious signs of heat stress, and had a fully loaded diaper. At the hospital, the baby's temperature was 106 degrees.

The infant died two days later and an autopsy found heat stroke as the cause of death.

Hartman was arrested and charged with aggravated manslaughter by neglect of a child, possession of cocaine with intent to sell, and possession of marijuana.

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