Mother denies leaving infant in hot car, calls death ‘accident’

RICHMOND, Va. -- The mother of a 10-month-old girl who died Tuesday after being left in a hot car said what happened was an accident.

The mother, who spoke to CBS 6 reporter Cameron Thompson on Wednesday, identified the victim as Luciana Kaye Diaz, the youngest of her four children.

Crime Insider sources said Diaz suffered cardiac arrest Tuesday and died on the way to the hospital after she had been left in a hot car by her mother, who CBS 6 is not identifying at this time.

The mother said that she was shopping with the child at the Food Lion on Iron Bridge Place in Chesterfield. Crime Insider sources said that the mother left the child in the car while she shopped, but the mother claimed that the child was in the grocery store with her.

However, the mother said that when she got to the family's home in the 4600 block of Brittania Road in South Richmond, she did leave the child in the car while she unloaded the groceries. But she said that car's windows were down and the child’s door was open.

The mother said that initially, her daughter was throwing a fit as she did this so she came back to calm her down, and then continued unloading. She said that when she was done she found the child unresponsive and called 911. The mother said that the amount of time it took to unload the groceries “wasn’t a long time.”

The Richmond Police Department’s Major Crimes division is investigating the case and said on Tuesday that foul play is not immediately suspected. When asked Wednesday about the investigation and the possibility of charges, the department said the investigation was on going.

Detectives ask anyone with information to call Detective J. Hewitt at 804-646-6870.

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