Rylee Rose Black, a 3-year-old, was reportedly left locked inside her mother’s car for over five hours on Friday before losing consciousness in Queensland, Australia.
But since, police have begun to release additional details regarding why the child was left in the car.
Rylee had gone along for the morning ride to school when her mother, Laura Black, 37, and her 29-year-old boyfriend, Aaron Hill, dropped off Rylee’s three older sisters at school.
By 9 a.m., Black had returned to her Townsville home and parked her Toyota Prado in the driveway. That’s when things appear to have gone terribly wrong. The mother and her boyfriend headed inside without Rylee.
The couple had argued on the way home from school drop-off, and at some point, the toddler had nodded off in the back seat, according to the Townsville Bulletin. It’s unclear from reports whether Black initially intended to return for the child after unloading the car or if she simply forgot her daughter was back there.
Rylee was left alone in the vehicle for five long hours as temperatures shot up to almost 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside. But by the time the toddler was discovered, it was almost 3 p.m.
The little girl was discovered unconscious, slumped over in her booster seat, when her mother found her. Allegedly, Black had been heading out to pick up her other daughters from school when she realized Rylee had been left in the car all day.
Both Black and Hill were arrested and charged with manslaughter. While the couple spent just a weekend in jail, they were quickly granted were released. And while they had only moved in together two weeks ago, they will now live separately as they await their trials.
According to police prosecutor Tasman Murphy, the couple was allegedly binge-watching the Netflix show Shameless for hours, while little Rylee lay dying outside. And when they discovered her, the couple was dumbfounded.
“They turned around and seen the victim child’s head slumped over … removed her from her booster seat to attempt CPR,” Murphy relayed to reporters.
And while the mother dialed 911, it was too late. The girl’s father is beyond grief.
“Dear little Rylee Rose grew her angel wings on Friday 27th November, 2020,” read a GoFundMe page, which was set up by family friends. “She leaves behind her loving, devoted and devastated father Pete and her four older sisters. No one should experience a loss like this.”
The page has since raised $8,800 which will be used to help support the family in this type of tragedy.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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