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Lawyer: Dundalk Dad Did Not Intentionally Leave Toddler In Hot Car During N.Y. Shopping Trip

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Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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DUNDALK, Md. (WJZ) — A Maryland man is charged with criminal child endangerment for leaving his toddler in a locked car in the sweltering heat. This latest case comes on the heels of a murder investigation involving a Georgia father whose child died in a hot car.

Meghan McCorkell has more on this latest case.

A judge set bond Friday for that Maryland father. His attorney says the family was on a busy shopping trip with five children–and no one realized the two-year-old was asleep in the car.

A two-year-old girl was locked inside a boiling hot pick-up truck for nearly half an hour. Police were forced to break the window to save her.

“All I see is he’s bringing out a kid. And she’s all red. And she was drenched like with water,” said Tricia Chowdhury, witness.

Thirty-year-old Melvin Marroquin of Dundalk is accused of leaving his child in her car seat inside the truck while he went shopping in Suffolk County, New York.

“As time went on, he eventually admitted that he did leave his daughter in the car for approximately 25 minutes,” said Officer Aaron Klein, Suffolk County Police.

This latest case comes as a Georgia father faces murder charges for the death of his son inside a hot car. Twenty-two-month-old Cooper Harris died when he was left in his father’s car for seven hours.

Investigators say Justin Ross Harris intentionally left the child. They say he had a life insurance policy on his son and did Internet research on how hot cars need to be for a child to die inside.

Even on a mild day that’s just over 70 degrees, the heat inside a car can hit well over 100.

An attorney for the Maryland father says the child was not intentionally left–it was just a terrible accident.

The temperature in the car was estimated around 120 degrees.

Neighbors in the family’s Dundalk community say they can sympathize.

“It’s kind of shocking as a father, a little bit. But to be honest with you, I can understand that people are human beings and they do make mistakes,” said Jerry Johnson, of Dundalk.

Police say had the girl been in the car any longer: “I think she, we would have found a little dead girl in the car,” said Officer Derek Mangi, Suffolk County Police.

Fortunately, they were able to rescue her.

The little girl suffered from heat exposure but is expected to be OK.

A judge set bond for Marroquin at $20,000.

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