Child left in rental car at Daytona Beach International Airport.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Daytona Beach International Airport Monday evening after employees with Hertz Car Rental located a child, just under two years old, was left behind in the back seat of a returned vehicle - which was brought into the lot at 5:13 p.m. The temperature in the unshaded parking lot at the time of the incident was about 80 degrees.
According to reports, the child was in the returned vehicle for about forty-five minutes, scared and hot. When deputies arrived on the scene around 6:00 p.m., the child was in the care of a Hertz employee, with a warm face and tear-stained cheeks but breathing normally. Paramedics deemed the child in good health at the scene.
Deputies and airport staff attempted to contact the driver when the child’s mother called in after learning her dad had left the child in the rental car and not at his home. The mother immediately made her way to the airport to be reunited with her daughter.
Through interviews and airport security video footage, detectives confirmed the identity of the driver, 62-year-old David Towner of Port Orange, who had been babysitting his granddaughter for the day and left her in the rental vehicle when he returned it. Towner was remorseful and cooperative with deputies. He was charged with one count of child neglect and transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail.
Mother and daughter were reunited, and the Department of Children and Families was notified of the incident. Sheriff Mike Chitwood will be issuing citizen awards to the Hertz employees involved.
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