Every year around summertime, countless news stories come out about parents forgetting their babies in hot cars. Though not an everyday occurrence, this type of tragedy, unfortunately, happens more often than most people would like to admit. When a baby is unable to regulate his or her body temperature as well as an adult and is left in a locked car under direct sunlight, the risk for serious health consequences skyrockets.
A young mother in Louisiana negligently left her baby to perish in a hot car. Ivy Lynn Lee’s child died three years after Ivy left her other daughter alone in a hot car. Ivy was only 22 at the time. Although the first child survived, social services took the second child away from Lee.
Sunday proved to be a tragic day for Lee as she lost her second child. Instead of taking care of her six-month-old daughter, Rissa, Lee left the infant girl in a hot car while she worked a five-hour shift at her job.
Lee found her baby unresponsive after she got out of work and immediately flagged down a Louisiana police officer. She told the cop that her child wasn’t breathing, as she usually would have done. The officer quickly began administering CPR, but sadly could not bring the child back.
Unfortunately, the baby was unresponsive to emergency services and life-saving measures at the hospital. Rissa sadly passed away at the hospital five hours after she had been stuck in a hot car. The medical team attempted to revive her, but ultimately were unsuccessful.
During the investigation, Lee gave two contradictory statements to investigators. Initially, she said that Rissa was not in her care. However, later on she admitted that she had left the child alone in a hot car while she went to work.
“She knew that baby was in the car, and she chose to go to work for an entire shift. There is no excuse,” Calcasieu Parish Chief Deputy Gary “Stitch” Guillory said. “She claims she left the car running at first, but then a coworker told her that her car was running outside, and she didn’t realize it and went out there and just turned the car off.”
Not only did police find marijuana in Lee’s car, but they also strongly suspected that she abandoned her daughter Rissa intentionally in the hot car.
The Louisiana authorities – after taking into account this was the mother’s second hot-car incident in a few years – did not go easy on her. Lee was, therefore, charged with second-degree murder and possession of marijuana. A $1.2 million bond was set for her by the Calcasieu Correctional Center in Louisiana.
In 2019, Lee left her first daughter, Avereigh – who is now three years old – in a hot car. According to a report from the Department of Children and Family Services, this child is currently under the care of another family member.
Lee “voluntarily” gave up her first baby “before the state had to get involved,” Guillory said.