Baby dies after apparently being left in car

FALL RIVER, Mass. --A 1-year-old girl died after being left strapped in a car seat in her mother's parked sport utility vehicle for most of the day, officials said.
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The baby was pronounced dead Wednesday at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River shortly after being discovered at about 4 p.m., said Denise Monteiro, spokeswoman for the Department of Social Services.

Local police, DSS and the Bristol County District Attorney's office are investigating, Monteiro said.

"Right now, it just looks like a tragic, tragic series of events," Monteiro told The Boston Globe. "The mother is totally distraught. She's beside herself."

Monteiro did not identify the baby or her parents, who are from New Bedford.

Monteiro said the baby was discovered after her grandmother met a bus that routinely took the baby and two older brothers home from day care, and the baby wasn't there. The grandmother called the day care center, and officials there told her the baby had never arrived. The day care center then called the mother, who checked her car and discovered the baby, Monteiro said.

A witness, Patricia Bonanca, told The Standard-Times of New Bedford she was working nearby when someone asked her to call 911. While she was on the phone, someone told her the baby appeared to be dead. The dispatcher gave her instructions to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the baby, but after seeing the baby, she didn't try to revive her.

"(The baby) was blue, she was foaming at the mouth," Bonanca said. "I grabbed her hand to see if she had a pulse and she didn't."

The baby's mother was "a mess," Bonanca said. Bonanca said the baby's mother was saying she thought her boyfriend had taken the child to day care.

The family does not have a prior history with the Department of Social Services, Monteiro said.