- A one-year-old girl was rescued by a Hertz employee from the backseat of a parked rental vehicle, police said.
- Police said that the girl was “scared and hot” after being left in the car for about 45 minutes.
- David Towner, the grandfather is being charged with child neglect after leaving the girl in the car, police said.
A Florida grandfather was arrested after police said he left his 1-year-old granddaughter in the back of a returned rental vehicle at the Airport.
“The child was scared and hot, but thankfully in good health when checked by paramedics,” Andrew Grant, a spokesperson for the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, said in a statement.
Deputies assigned to the Daytona Beach International Airport responded to a report by a Hertz employee at around 6 pm on Monday after they found a 1-year-old girl who was locked in the back seat of a vehicle parked in the return lot, according to the statement.
Police said the deputies arrived to find the child breathing normally, but her face was warm and streaked with dried tears.
The child was left in the vehicle, parked in the unshaded lot since 5:13 pm, according to the statement.
Deputies and airport staff were unable to make initial contact with the driver. But the mother of the 1-year-old girl called the sheriff’s office immediately after she found out her father had left her daughter in the rental car and not at his home, according to the statement.
Detectives discovered that David Towner, 62, was babysitting his granddaughter, the 1-year-old, for the day when he left her in the rental car when he returned it, according to the statement.
Towner was remorseful and cooperative with deputies and was charged with child neglect, police said.
The 1-year-old was eventually reunited with the mother, and the Hertz employee who found the child will be issued a citizens award.
A Hertz representative told Good Morning America the company is “grateful for the actions of our Hertz teammates and glad the child is safe.”
“Everyone at Daytona Beach International Airport is thankful the child was safely reunited with her mother. The Hertz employees deserve recognition for bringing the child to safety and comforting the child. We are also proud of our security team and Volusia Sheriff’s Office deputies for their quick response,” Daytona Beach International Airport manager Joanne Magley said in a statement to Good Morning America.