Joel and Jazmine Rondon left baby in car, killing her: Cops

Joel and Jazmine Rondon (Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

A mother and father in Florida were arrested this week for allegedly killing their 18-month-old daughter, leaving the child in her car seat overnight after returning home late from a drug- and alcohol-fueled Fourth of July party.

Joel Rondon and Jazmine Rondon, both 33, were taken into custody on Thursday and charged with one count each of aggravated manslaughter of a child, authorities announced.

“This is not an accident,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said during a Thursday press conference. “This is pure negligence and I suggest to you the core of the negligence is the abuse of drugs. Who suffered? Who died? The 18-month-old baby. So don’t ever tell me that these drugs are low-level and non-violent because they’re at the core of why this child is dead today.”

According to a press release from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the Rondons on Tuesday attended a Fourth of July celebration in Lakeland with their three children, ages 8 years, 6 years, and 18 months old. The family arrived home at about 3:00 a.m. on July 5th, after both parents had consumed alcohol and smoked marijuana during the course of the party, the release states.

Upon their return, Jazmine Rondon instructed her husband to bring the toddler inside while she took the other two children into their home. Joel Rondon said the car door they used to access the child’s carseat was opened at that time. He then brought a few things inside and went back out where he observed that all four doors of the car had been closed. Assuming his wife had retrieved their daughter, Joel Rondon got into bed with his wife and went to sleep.

“Neither husband nor wife asked each other if they had brought the victim inside,” the release states.

Joel Rondon awoke around 10 a.m. the following morning and spent approximately an hour preparing for work. At around 11 a.m., he asked one of the older children to “check on the baby” in the bedroom. However, the child informed Joel that the baby was not in the bedroom, prompting him to search the house.

Joel and Jazmine Rondon left baby in car, killing her: Cops

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