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4-month-old baby dies after being left in hot car in California parking lot, police say

A 4-month-old baby boy died Saturday after being found unattended inside a hot car parked at an apartment complex in San Diego's El Cajon area.

Officials were called to the Belle Vista Apartments in the 500 block of north Mollison Avenue around 1:30 p.m. to investigate.

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El Cajon Police Department Lt. Eric Taylor said officers found the child unresponsive inside a vehicle. Officers gave the baby CPR at the scene.

The child was then transported to Grossmont Hospital, where he later died, Lt. Taylor confirmed.

El Cajon resident and witness Larry Singleton said he was headed to the store when a group of neighborhood children came running up to him and said somebody had left a baby inside a car.

“It's hurts me to know that someone's baby passed away. It’s really sad,” Singleton said.

Singleton said he doesn’t personally know the baby’s parents, only that had they recently moved into the apartment complex. He said the baby may have been left in the car for several hours.

NBC 7 meteorologist Greg Bledsoe says it was 80 degrees in El Cajon Saturday at around 1:30 p.m., when the baby was found. Bledsoe says the highest temperature in the area reached 81 degrees.

Lt. Taylor said investigators are now interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence from the scene. The child's parents and family members are being questioned, but no arrests have been made.

The child's official cause of death will be determined by the county medical examiner. Those details are forthcoming.

According to a study from the Department of Geosciences at San Francisco University, there have been at least 24 deaths of children left unattended in vehicles so far this year. In 2012, that number was 33.

Exactly one year ago, another 4-month-old baby was found unconscious and unattended inside a car in National City while the baby’s mother was shopping. That child survived, and the baby’s mother was arrested on child endangerment charges.