Florida mom arrested for intentionally leaving toddler in hot car for 3 hours

Shantrell Mitchell ((Broward Sheriff's Office))

Police in South Florida say a woman intentionally left a toddler strapped to a car seat for three hours while she went grocery shopping in the middle of the day. Officials say the child suffered from febrile seizures but recovered at a children's hospital.

Fort Lauderdale police arrested 32-year-old Shantrell Mitchell on one count of aggravated child abuse. Mitchell told detectives she forgot about her 21-month-old child when she went shopping Tuesday, but an investigation led to her arrest Thursday.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports surveillance footage shows Mitchell got out of the car and opened a door in back seat where the child sat. Prosecutors say she manually locked the door. Tuesday's temperatures reached the 90s.

According to WSVN, Mitchell was in the store for about three hours before returning to the car.

Once Mitchell started loading her purchases in the vehicle, she realized the toddler had passed out. Mitchell tried cooling the girl down as a supermarket employee called 911.

“The child had a temperature of 105 degrees, was suffering from seizures, had to be transferred to Holy Cross Hospital, where [her] body temperature was 106 degrees, and the condition drastically improved due to the treatment the child received,” said prosecutor Eric Linder during Mitchell's court hearing.

Mitchell was released on $10,000 bond, but the judge ordered her to have no contact with her daughter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.