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Toddler dead after mother left her in hot car to tend to marijuana grow, officials say

The 3-year-old girl was left inside a car for about three hours when it was at least 100 degrees outside, according to Visalia, California, police.

A 3-year-old girl died and her mother was arrested after leaving the toddler in a hot car for hours while tending to a marijuana grow, according to Visalia, California, police.

Police responded to a call of a child, later identified as Jessica Campos, who was not breathing on Thursday evening after being left in a parked car outside a residence on West Perez Avenue in Visalia, which is 43 miles south of Fresno.

An officer who was on an unrelated call nearby arrived at the scene and took over CPR after family members attempted to save the child. Fire and ambulance personnel then attempted lifesaving efforts after they arrived.

The toddler was later taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said.

Investigators believe it was at least 100 degrees outside when Jessica was left inside the car for about three hours.

Eustajia Mojica Dominguez, Jessica's 28-year-old mother, told investigators she had been tending to a marijuana grow and processing marijuana during the time the child was inside the car, according to Visalia police.

The Narcotics Unit and the Special Enforcement Unit were contacted to assist in the investigation. They found 150 marijuana plants and about 475 pounds of processed marijuana inside the residence.

There were four other adults and four children at the home at the time of Jessica's death.

Two 9-month-old children, an 11-year-old and a 15-year-old were all turned over to Child Protective Services. The adults were arrested on charges of child endangerment. Jessica's mother faces an additional charge of involuntary manslaughter.

The adults were identified as Araceli Mojica, 33; Emmanuel Ortiz-Aguilar, 34; Valentin Aguilar Ortiz, 27; and Victor Flores Corona, 41.

All the adults remain in custody at the Tulare County Pretrial Facility.

Visalia police are recommending additional drug charges related to the marijuana found at the scene for all five adults involved, but final charges will be determined by the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office once their investigation is complete.