Woman Charged After Child Found Dead Inside Car in Homestead

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A South Miami-Dade woman has been charged with aggravated manslaughter after a 2-year-old girl was found dead inside of a hot car Friday in Homestead, police said.

Friends of the family have identified the little girl as Joselyn Maritza Méndez.

The discovery was made at around 3 p.m. near Campbell Drive and Third Avenue.

The child's mom said Joselyn told her earlier "I love you mami."

Joselyn Maritza Méndez

Upon discovery, Méndez was transported by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to Baptist Hospital in Homestead where she was pronounced dead by medical staff.

Jail records showed Saturday that 43-year-old Juana Perez-Domingo was booked at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center and charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child.

Juana Perez-Domingo

Bond was set at $50,000, and no attorney was listed for the woman.

Police say Perez-Domingo was supposed to drive the young girl to daycare in Homestead early Friday morning. She drove the girl to her own home first — the daycare wasn't open yet — and then got distracted and forgot about the child until returning to the vehicle seven hours later.

The child's mother says she get off work at 3 p.m. and called Perez-Domingo twice before she finally picked up the phone to tell her the tragic news.

"She killed my girl," said Joselyn's mother. "I don't know what to do."

A Miami-Dade police report says Perez-Domingo called the child's mother and then drove her to the mother's house. The child had died by then.

Police say Perez-Domingo also had no driver's license. An autopsy was scheduled for Saturday.

According to, 26 children in the United States have died after being left inside of a hot car in 2021. In 2019, there were 53 hot car fatalities.

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