SUITLAND, MD (WJLA/CNN) – A family member of a 1-year-old girl is charged with reckless endangerment after a Maryland police officer rescued the unattended baby from inside a hot car.
Corporal Darryl Wormuth says the story began Tuesday in Suitland, MD, when he found an unresponsive man lying face down in a grassy area.
The man had a car key fob on him, but Wormuth could not locate the vehicle.
The man, who was still verbally unresponsive but conscious, was taken to the hospital, according to Prince George’s County police.
About three hours later, Wormuth returned to continue his shift. He said “something just kept nagging at [his] mind,” so he began patrolling the same area where he found the man unresponsive.
That’s when he heard music coming from a parked car.
When Wormuth walked up to the car, he saw the driver’s side window was down, the engine was running – and a little girl was in the backseat.
"I said, ‘Please, God, let this child be alive.’ Her head was forward. She was either sleeping or had passed, and I could see her chest begin to rise,” Wormuth said.
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Police say Wormuth immediately called for backup and contacted the property manager of the apartment complex. The complex manager and the responding officers gave the girl chicken nuggets and water.
A picture taken by police shows the exterior temperature of the car was 81 degrees Fahrenheit.
Upon finding a phone in the car, Wormuth was able to reach the little girl’s mother and grandmother, who took the child home.
Authorities say the unresponsive man whom Wormuth found hours earlier was a family member taking care of the baby. He has been charged with reckless endangerment and a related unattended child charge.
Copyright 2018 WJLA, Prince George’s County Police Dept. via CNN. All rights reserved. Raycom News Network contributed to this report.