EL CAJON, Calif. - The mother and father of a 4-month-old baby who was allegedly left overnight in a car at an El Cajon apartment complex have been arrested in connection with their child's death, and their three other children were taken into protective custody.
Israel Soto, 30, and Jessica Quezada, 23, were both booked into county jail on suspicion of willful cruelty to a child with injury or death, according to El Cajon police Lt. Frank La Haye. Quezada also faces a charge of
alleged possession of a controlled substance, police said.
Child Protective Services took the couple's three other children -- ages 3, 2 and 1 -- into protective custody, according to La Haye.
Police said their investigation indicated that Soto and Quezada allegedly left the baby inside a parked car overnight following a shopping trip Friday. Family members found the child inside the vehicle at the apartment
complex at 545 North Mollison Ave.
Jeremiah Jackson, 12, was playing outside and witnessed the chaotic scene that followed.
"We seen the baby in the car and after that we started to panic and then when we looked at the door, we seen the father run out and got the baby and then run into the house."
The family members called for help about 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Police officers and fire personnel responded to report the baby was not breathing, police said.
"The father was so frightened and then he was putting his hands on his head and I just seen him praying on the ground for the baby to be still alive," said Jackson.
The unresponsive child was taken to a hospital and later died, police said.
La Haye said the county Medical Examiner's Office had yet to determine the exact cause of the child's death, but the investigation was ongoing.
He asked anyone with information to call the El Cajon Police Department at (619) 579-3311, or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.