Mesa police are investigating the death of a baby left in the care of a 19-year-old man on Monday.
There was a heat advisory that day and temperatures topped 113 degrees, yet police tell CBS 5, 4-month-old Teonna George Brown was riding around inside a hot car for four hours with no air conditioning.
Her 19-year-old babysitter, Shawn Lewis Dale, believed to be a cousin, was not from the area. He told police he got lost, didn't have a cell phone and finally pulled in to the Circle K at University and Lindsay in Mesa. He carried the motionless body of the infant inside to ask for help, but it was too late.
"From all indications the child was non-responsive, not breathing at that time. Appeared to be very warm - elevated body temperature. Police and fire arrived on the scene at that time, tried to work on the child, immediately transported it to the local hospital where it was pronounced deceased," said Sgt. Tony Landato from the Mesa Police Department.
Mesa Police said Dale told them it was the first time he babysat for Teonna's young parents. He was watching her while they were at work.
Dale told police when he went to pick up the baby's father he got lost and drove around for hours in the scorching heat of the day. The car he was driving did not have A/C.
He says he made several stops before he ended up at the Circle K where someone called 911 to get help for baby Teonna. It's also where Dale was arrested and cited for being under the influence of alcohol or drugs and released from jail.
"He was charged with aggravated DUI for being DUI with a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle. And that will certainly play into the decision when we go to review it for charges in the death," Londato said.
Dale's Facebook page states he is from Houck, AZ. On it he wrote he had come to Phoenix on Sunday, just one day before the baby died.
Investigators are still looking into whether 4-month-old Teonna was left in the car unattended at some point. They say they are waiting for the autopsy report to come back before moving forward with other possible charges.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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