VISALIA, California (KSEE/KGPE) — A 3-year-old is dead and her mother has been arrested on charges of involuntary manslaughter after investigators say she left the child in a hot car while she tended to a marijuana grow.
Police responded to the call of a child who was not breathing after being left in a parked vehicle for an extended period of time on the 100 block of Perez Avenue in Visalia, according to investigators. An officer who was on an unrelated call nearby arrived and took over CPR from family members who were trying to revive the child.
“When he got there, the 3-year-old was unresponsive. Family members were trying to give the child CPR,” said Visalia Police Sgt. Mike Verissimo.
When fire and ambulance personnel arrived they took over the efforts and the child was transported to Kaweah Health Medical Center where she was pronounced dead, investigators say.
Police detectives say they believe the child, now identified as Jessica Campos, was left in the vehicle for up to three hours before anyone discovered her. Investigators say the outdoor temperature was at least 100 degrees at the time.
“It was learned that the mother was tending to a marijuana grow in the backyard of the residence and also processing marijuana within the house,” said Sgt. Verissimo.
One hundred and fifty marijuana plants and about 475 pounds of processed marijuana were found on the property.
There were four other adults and four children at the home when it happened.
The children, nine months to 15 years old, were all turned over to Child Protective Services.
Five people have now been arrested including Jessica’s mother Eustajia Dominguez Mojica, 28, and four other adults found in the residence at the time: Araceli Mojica, 33, Emmanuel Ortiz-Aguilar, 34, Valentin Aguilar Ortiz, 27, and Victor Flores Corona, 41.
Mojica, Ortiz-Aguilar, Ortiz, and Corona were booked for charges of child endangerment.
Eustajia Dominguez Mojica, the child’s mother, was arrested for involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.
Marijuana drug charges are also being suggested for all five adults involved, but police say the final charges will ultimately be determined by the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office once their investigation is complete.
Anyone with more information on the case is asked to call Detective Rob Meier at (559) 713-4211 or Detective Henry Martinez at (559) 713-4156.