HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – One by one, heartbroken family members quietly walked into their Brandon home. When the door shut, a woman began wailing. The grief was palpable as the family is now without one of their own, 2-year-old Jacob Manchego.
Jacob died after being left in a hot car all day outside a Brandon shopping center on Tuesday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. The toddler was left unattended from 9 a.m. Tuesday morning until 2:30 p.m., deputies said.
Temperatures in Tampa Bay tied record highs on Tuesday at 86 degrees.
Jacob was left unattended with the windows rolled up, the doors shut, and the engine turned off. The SUV was parked in the Oak Park Shopping Center at 731 Lumsden Road West in Brandon, in front of a daycare where his half-sister has worked for the last six months, according to sources.
“What we understand is that about 9 o’clock this morning, a relative parked here in the parking lot and in the interim, left a 2-year-old boy inside the vehicle, locked, without the engine running, and without the air conditioning,” Larry McKinnon, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, said.
The toddler’s half-sister was identified as Fiorella Silva-Tello, 21. The young woman arrived for work Tuesday morning at the BFF Kidz Child Care Center with her 2-year-old half brother. However, Jacob was left in the car for hours while Silva-Tello went inside her place of employment.
Investigators tell us that Silva-Tello was “upset” and “distraught” when he found child early in the afternoon when she went outside during a break.
The toddler was unconscious when his half-sister brought him into a nearby dialysis center seeking medical aid. Medical personnel inside the facility attempted to render aid until fire rescue arrived.
Sadly, it was too late.
The 2-year-old was in critical condition while being transported to Brandon Regional Hospital, where he died late Tuesday afternoon.
“Who can take that information, you know? It’s gut-wrenching. It’s physically debilitating. There’s no way around it,” McKinnon said. “It’s difficult. It’s difficult for us. We all have kids, we all have children.”
“We remind ourselves. We remind our family. We mind our people that pick-up our kids. You know, look back there and check. We see it happen over and over again. It’s not necessary.”
No charges have been filed pending further investigation and review by the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office. Investigators will be reviewing prior history of the child, including all calls for service made to his home.
The 21-year-old half-sister had a jacket over her head and she walked with family members into her home shortly after 7 p.m. Hillsborough investigators requested that members of the media respect the privacy of the family during this difficult time.
“This is everyone’s worst nightmare,” McKinnon said. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re an average citizen on the street, or seasoned law enforcement. It’s never easy. It touches everyone’s heart when something like this happens.”