Advertisement

Lakeland parents charged in death of toddler left in car overnight after Fourth of July party

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says Lakeland parents Joel and Jazmine Rondon were charged Thursday with aggravated manslaughter of a child.
 
In this screenshot taken from a video posted on the Facebook page of the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd holds photos of Joel and Jazmine Rondon during a news conference in Winter Haven on Thursday. He said the Lakeland couple faces aggravated manslaughter of a child charges in the death of their 18-month-old daughter. The toddler died after being left in a hot car overnight following a Fourth of July party in Florida, Judd said.
In this screenshot taken from a video posted on the Facebook page of the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd holds photos of Joel and Jazmine Rondon during a news conference in Winter Haven on Thursday. He said the Lakeland couple faces aggravated manslaughter of a child charges in the death of their 18-month-old daughter. The toddler died after being left in a hot car overnight following a Fourth of July party in Florida, Judd said. [ Still from video on the Polk County Sheriff's Office Facebook page ]
Published July 7, 2023

LAKELAND — A toddler died after her parents left her in a hot car overnight following a Fourth of July party in Florida, authorities said Thursday.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Lakeland couple Joel and Jazmine Rondon have been charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child.

Authorities said the Rondons accidentally left the 18-month-old girl in her car seat while they removed their two other children and unloaded their vehicle after arriving home from the Independence Day celebration. Joel Rondon discovered his toddler unresponsive in the car the following morning. She was declared dead at a hospital.

News conference: Lakeland couple charged in toddler's death (July 6, 2023)

Polk County Sheriff’s detectives have charged husband and wife Joel and Jazmine Rondon, both 33 years old, of Winchester Estates Circle in Lakeland, with aggravated manslaughter of a child, a first degree felony, after the couple left an 18-month-old toddler in a car overnight when they returned home from partying, and the child died while strapped into her car seat in the extreme heat the next day. Click here to read the news release: https://tinyurl.com/2ak4xpdw

Posted by Polk County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, July 6, 2023

The couple submitted to drug tests, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Joel Rondon tested positive for methamphetamines, marijuana and alcohol. His wife was positive for marijuana and alcohol.

An autopsy ruled the toddler’s cause of death as hyperthermia. The couple was arrested Thursday. It was not immediately clear if the Rondons, both 33, have hired an attorney who could comment on the allegations.