A woman in California was arrested and charged with the death of her daughter after allegedly leaving her alone in a running car overnight with the heater on and a blanket covering her, according to officials.
Mazzarella allegedly,34, left her daughter, 2-year-old June Love Agosto, in a car on Sept. 22 and returned early the next morning to find the child dead, according to Deputy District Attorney David Zygielbaum.
“The engine and heater were both left running, the prosecutor added,” the office said in a news release.
In an initial coroner’s report, the mother admitted to police she left the child alone in the car at about 11 p.m. on Sept. 21 before getting into another vehicle to drink alcohol with a friend. She told authorities she then fell asleep.
When the mother woke up several hours later, she said she checked on her toddler to find vomit on the child’s clothes with burns to the girl’s face, chest and arms.
During her arraignment on Friday afternoon, Mazzarella entered a not guilty plea as a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Oct. 23, according to KTLA.
Prosecutors said the 34-year-old faces up to 15 years to life in prison if convicted as charged. Bail was requested by prosecutors at $1.15 million, the DA’s office said.
The child’s official cause of death has yet to be determined, pending the result of additional forensic tests.
Officials said the incident remains under investigation.