Virginia mother denies leaving baby in hot car, calls death 'accident'

RICHMOND, Va. -- The mother of a 10-month-old girl who died Tuesday, July 16 after being left in a hot car said what happened was an accident.

The mother identified the victim as Luciana Kaye Diaz, the youngest of her four children.

WTVR sources said Diaz suffered cardiac arrest Tuesday and died on the way to the hospital after she had been left in a hot car by her mother, who WTVR is not identifying at this time.

The mother said she was shopping with the child at the Food Lion in Chesterfield. WTVR sources said the mother left the child in the car while she shopped, but the mother claimed the child was in the grocery store with her.

The mother said when she got to the family's home in South Richmond, she did leave the child in the car while she unloaded the groceries -- but, she said, the car's windows were down and the child’s door was open.

The mother said her daughter was throwing a fit as she did this, so she came back to calm her down before she continued unloading. She said when she was done, she found the child unresponsive and called 911. The mother said the amount of time it took to unload the groceries “wasn’t a long time.”

The Richmond Police Department’s Major Crimes division is investigating the case, and said Tuesday foul play was not immediately suspected. When asked Wednesday about the investigation and the possibility of charges, the police said the investigation was ongoing.