Socorro Toddler Death: Family Investigated Before

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POSTED: Sunday, August 29, 2010 - 8:37pm

UPDATED: Sunday, August 29, 2010 - 9:37pm

SOCORRO - We told you about a Socorro toddler who died this weekend after his father left him in a hot car. We have now learned the family has a history with Child Protective Services.

A two year old Socorro toddler is dead. The Sheriff's Office says his dad, 25-year old Emmanuel Armendariz, left him in a hot car on Friday. Now child protective services is investigating.

"Our primary concern right now is the other sibling, who's been placed out with relatives," C.P.S. Spokesman Paul Zimmerman said.

We've learned the dead 2-year old has a sister, and we're told this isn't the first time the family has been investigated by C.P.S. for neglect and substance abuse.

"In 2005 and 2009 we investigated. One time we found reason to believe that it had occurred, the other time it was ruled out. Both cases were closed with risk factors control," Zimmerman said.

We're told that could mean the mom and dad were sent to parenting classes, and substance abuse counseling, but even so one of their kids is now dead in a tragedy that could have been prevented. C.P.S. says this is the 12th hot-car death in Texas this year, but El Paso almost had a 13th death in the same day. El Paso police arrested Blanca Bonilla for leaving a 1-year old in a hot truck with the windows rolled up. An officer saw and rescued the child before it was to late, but they said the child was sweating inside. C.P.S. can't comment on this case, but they are warning people that leaving a kid in a hot car is the same as putting them in an oven.

"Even on an 85 degree day there's a rapid heat build up that happens inside a car, and it becomes a convection oven and whatever inside basically cooks. On an 85 degree day it only takes 30 minutes for the inside of the car to raise to a temperature of 120 degrees," Zimmerman said.

Police haven't said how long either children were left inside the cars.

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