May 20, 2013

Baby left in car, mother arrested in child’s death

One day after her first birthday, a toddler died after being left in a hot car at the Dallas ISD elementary school where her mother works as a teacher.

Victoria Marks was taken to a local hospital Friday, where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy will determine the cause of death.

The child’s mother, Vibha Marks of Balch Springs, was arrested on a charge of second-degree felony child abandonment. She was being held in the Dallas County Jail.

Marks, who turned 42 on Friday, has been placed on administrative leave from her job as a teacher at Frank Guzick Elementary School in the 5000 block of Berridge Lane in the Buckner Terrace community, officials said.

The events that led to Marks’ arrest began when Exenia Gomez, a Skyline High School senior, discovered the child about 1:20 p.m. Friday. Gomez had arrived at the elementary school, where she interns several days a week as a first-grade teacher’s aide.

“I looked over and saw that there was a baby in there,” Gomez said. “I looked at the baby and she wasn’t moving. She had dried bubbles on her face and her eyes were still looking down.”

The toddler, wearing bright floral shorts and a pink top, was strapped in her car seat in the back of the locked black car. Gomez could tell by the toddler’s coloring that something was terribly wrong. She also wasn’t breathing.

“I knew that was a bad sign,” said Gomez, who called 911.

A 911 operator told her to remove the child from the car and asked that she perform CPR until rescue workers arrived. Gomez grabbed a piece of lumber from the back of her truck and knocked out a car window. She pulled the child from the vehicle and started CPR.

“I actually held her and saw her face,” Gomez said. “It was horrible just seeing that.”

Dallas Fire-Rescue paramedics transported the toddler to Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. But it was too late.

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