Mom Arrested After Someone Spotted Her Daughter in Distressed—She Was Left in Hot Car for Two Hours

A New Jersey mom has been arrested and charged with the death of her daughter after the toddler was left alone in a hot car for two-and-a-half hours.

According to a press release, Lakewood Police officials responded to a call about a child in distress on May 6.

When authorities arrived at the local residence, they found a neighbor attempting to resuscitate the 21-month-old through CPR. Sadly, the child died that evening in the hospital after the Good Samaritan made the heartbreaking discovery.

As NBC 4 reports, originally the parents of the girl weren’t accused of any wrongdoing and didn’t face criminal charges. However, after an investigation, police eventually charged the toddler’s mom, Chaya Shurkin, 25, with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child on Monday.


Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said:

“A thorough and extensive investigation revealed that the child had been left alone in Shurkin’s motor vehicle for approximately two-and-one-half hours with the car turned off, in the heat.

The investigation determined that the act of leaving the child in the car unattended for such a long period of time was the cause and manner of the child’s death.”

At the time of her daughter’s death, Shurkin and the child’s father allegedly had a miscommunication about who would bring the child in from the car to her daycare.

The temperature was about  72 degrees on the day of the tragedy. Here are a few away to ensure a child is never accidentally left in a hot car:

  • Always keep cars locked even if you don’t have children.
  • Always keep keys out of children’s reach.
  • Place an item you can’t start the day without in the backseat.
  • If a child goes missing, check the inside and trunk of all cars in the area immediately.
  • Teach children to honk the horn if they get stuck.

However, as ABC News Radio reports, it only takes a person’s internal body temperatures to rise above 104 degrees before internal organs start to shut down.