A Roseburg woman was arrested Thursday after her 21-month-old child died when she allegedly left her unattended in a car near Evergreen Urgent Care in Roseburg for several hours.
After police arrived on scene at 4:12 p.m., the child was transported to Mercy Medical Center and pronounced dead, according to police.
The child’s mother, 38-year-old Nicole Engler, was taken into custody and lodged in the Douglas County Jail on suspicion of second-degree manslaughter.
Second-degree manslaughter is a felony that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 75 months if convicted.
Engler is a family nurse practitioner at Evergreen Family Medicine on Edenbower Boulevard.
Originally from Salt Lake City, Engler has lived in Roseburg for nearly four years. She graduated from nursing school in 2005, received her master’s degree in nursing in 2009 and has worked in pediatrics, women’s health and family practice, according to Evergreen’s website.
According to the safety organization Kids and Cars, an average of 37 children die every year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside of cars.
So far this year, the organization reports that 17 children have died from vehicular heatstroke.
On Thursday around 4 p.m., the temperature was 79 degrees in Roseburg, according to the National Weather Service. A car’s interior temperature can rise approximately 40 degrees within one hour, even when the exterior temperature is only 72 degrees, according to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The Douglas County Major Crimes team is investigating the incident.