Deanna Joseph mugshot

Police: Toddler dies in car while ‘mom’ gets high and leaves little girl unattended for hours

Police arrested a New Jersey mother after her little girl died while being left in a car alone.

NJ.com reports that Deanna J. Joseph, 39, called 911 at around 9:45 p.m. on Sunday, from her home off of Timberland Road. She said she found her little girl inside a car, unresponsive. According to Salem County Prosecutor John T. Lenahan, Joseph was under the influence of drugs and left her child in the car for “an unspecified amount of time.”

“It appeared the child was confined in a car seat for an extended period of time while the mother was under the influence of drugs, and may have injured herself in the car seat.”

Authorities rushed the toddler to a local hospital, but she passed away. It’s still unclear exactly how she died, as there were no signs of blunt force trauma. Lenahan said that the weather was cool on Sunday night and Jackson left the heater running in the car. A medical examiner is currently trying to determine the exact cause of death.

Police arrested Jackson and charged her charged with second-degree child endangerment.

The incident marks the third time police arrested Jackson for harming her children. In 2014, Jackson was convicted of cruelty and neglect of a child after police found her lying unconscious in her apartment while her then 11-month-old son bathed in water that reached several inches deep. Inside the apartment, authorities found heroin residue crack cocaine rocks in glassine envelopes. A judge sentenced her to jail for the charges. She was released one year ago.

In 2008, police arrested Jackson after they found her 11-year-old and 2-year-old left at home alone.

Jackson could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted on her current charge. She’s being held at the Salem County Correctional Facility in Mannington Township.

Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

[Feature Photo: Salem County Corrections]