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Alexander Rosario and Douceaymee Lopez-Alvarez, who left toddler in car for 8 hours, charged with aggravated child neglect

5:22 PM, May 16, 2013   |    comments
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  • Douceaymee Alvarez (R) and Alexander Rosario (L) are the parents of a 2-year-old boy left in a car seat for 8 hours on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.
    

 

Tampa, Florida -- A Tampa couple accused of leaving their 23-month-old son in an SUV for 8 hours is now facing charges of aggravated child neglect.

Officials say Alexander Rosario and Douceaymee Lopez-Alvarez returned home around 4 a.m. on April 16 after visiting friends. The parents apparently went inside the house with all their kids except their youngest son. He was left strapped in his car seat and not discovered until noon -- a full 8 hours later.

"I heard them saying the baby wasn't breathing, so I ran up in there and I saw the baby laying on the couch and the father doing CPR," said neighbor Sharon Scruggs.

The boy was rushed to Florida Hospital in critical condition and was released a few days later.

Debbie Carter with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says the SUV was parked in the family's driveway as the temperature started to rise.

"Basically the assumption (was) that the father thought the mother got the child and the mother thought the father got the child and they all went to bed," Carter said.

After a Hillsborough Sheriff's spokesperson said two days after the incident the parents wouldn't be charged, calling it "an accident", it is unclear at this time why they changed their mind.

The boy, along with his siblings, are in the care of Child Protective Investigations Division.

The couple is expected to appear in court on Friday.

*Courtesy of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, here is a link to Safecar.gov's "Parents Central" page, with information on keeping kids safe "from car seats to car keys."*

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