Tampa police say the death of a 1-year-old girl left in her parents’ vehicle was a tragic accident, but they aren’t ruling out charges.

“Sometimes if a toddler is asleep, it happens,” Tampa Police spokesman Stephen Hegarty told Bay News 9. “It’s hard to wrap your brain around, but sometimes it happens that somebody just forgets that somebody is in the backseat and we have a tragedy on our hands.”

The incident occurred in the 9400 block of North 19th Street and it was the parents who called 911 after finding the child unresponsive inside their Jeep. Police say they arrived to find the child not breathing and she was pronounced dead a short time later after being transported to a local hospital.

Police say they are continuing to investigate the case, but it remains unclear if charges will be filed against the parents who police say have other children.

According to WFLA, the child was left in the Jeep for the most of the day Monday, but police would not elaborate on just how long the child was left inside the vehicle or what the parents were doing during that time period. The call to 911 came in at around 6:30 p.m.

WFLA spoke to a neighbor of the family, Marie Burr, who said, “As a parent, I don’t see how I could do it but I feel for the family.”

Since no charges have been filed, the names of the parents and the victim are being withheld at this time.

Breaking News/Real Time Reporter Mark Young began his career in 1996 and has been with the Bradenton Herald since 2014. He has won more than a dozen awards over the years, including the coveted Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Press Club and for beat reporting from the Society for Professional Journalists to name a few. His reporting experience is as diverse as the communities he covers.

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