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Mother whose child died in hot car pleads not guilty

Posted at 10:15 AM, Sep 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-23 20:49:14-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A woman whose toddler daughter died after being found in a hot car pleaded not guilty in a San Diego courtroom Monday.

Pricilla Marquez Harris was arrested last week, over a month after her 20-month-old daughter, Scarlett, was found unresponsive in Harris' Nissan Altima parked outside of her Tierrasanta home in the 10300 block of Leary Street.

On the afternoon of Aug. 5, Harris called 911 and said she had just woken up and could not find her young daughter.

RELATED: Mother arrested following Tierrasanta toddler's death in hot car

After a disconnection, Harris called 911 again and said her daughter was in her vehicle but was not breathing. The temperature outside on that day was 91 degrees.

Despite paramedics’ efforts, the child was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two days later, Harris’ cousin and her cousin’s boyfriend were taken to the hospital after both reportedly overdosed on drugs inside Harris’ home. Harris was taken to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation that same day, officials told 10News.

Harris was eventually arrested in connection with her daughter’s death on Sept. 19. Investigators spent several weeks gathering evidence necessary to build a strong case.

RELATED: Police: Child found inside parked vehicle in Tierrasanta dies

Harris faces charges of child endangerment, inflicting great bodily injury on a child under the age of five years, and personal infliction likely to produce great bodily injury or the death of a child.

Her next court appearance is scheduled for October 2. She is being held on $1 million bail.

If convicted as charged, she faces a maximum of 12 years behind bars.