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1-year-old girl dead after mother leaves her in car in Houston for nearly 10 hours, officials say

The mother thought she dropped off three children at day care Thursday morning. When she went to pick them up, only two were there, authorities said.

A 1-year-old girl is dead after her mother left her in a car for nearly 10 hours in Houston Thursday, authorities said.

Harris County sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a child left in a car at 6:30 p.m., Sgt. Ben Beall said during a short news conference late Thursday.

Investigators have determined that the mother of the toddler drove the child and her siblings, ages 3 and 5, to a day care in the morning. They said she left the 1-year-old in the vehicle and returned home.

During the day, the mother took another vehicle to go exercise, Beall said. When she went to pick up her three kids from day care, only two were there. The day care had no record of the 1-year-old being dropped off, according to police.

The 1-year-old was discovered in the vehicle around 6 p.m. She had been there since 8:30 a.m., Beall said. She was found on the floor of the car and pronounced dead at the scene.

The high temperature in Houston Thursday was 91 degrees. Kids have died after being left in cars in temperatures as low as 60 degrees, according to kidsandcars.org. Children overheat three to five times faster than adults, and temperatures inside a car can reach 125 degrees within minutes.

Beall said deputies are attempting to interview the parents, noting a "language issue."

An average of 39 children die in hot cars in the U.S. each year, according to kidsandcars.org. Twenty children have died so far this year.

Earlier this month, twin 20-month-old boys were found dead inside a car in the parking lot of a South Carolina day care center.

Authorities believe the toddlers, identified as Bryson and Brayden McDaniel, had been in the vehicle for more than nine hours.

Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford said they were found in rear-facing car seats in a family member's vehicle that was driven by one of the parents. She declined to say which one, telling reporters the mother and father were both "very distraught."