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Couple’s ‘miracle baby’ dies after babysitter allegedly leaves her in hot car

Tammie Brooks

HOBBS, N.M. – A New Mexico babysitter has been charged in the death of a 2-year-old girl who was left in a car seat for hours inside a hot car, police say.

Tammie Brooks, 41, was supposed to take her to day care Sept. 17, but Hobbs police say she instead went to her other job and forgot the toddler in the car around 6:30 a.m.

Police say Brooks even ran an errand before realizing that the child was still in the car. Officers arrived around 1:30 p.m. to find the child dead in the car, according to a news release.

The child’s parents, Demi Petrowski and Zachary Hasheme, told KOB4 that young Zariah, their only child, was a miracle baby.

“I had six miscarriages previously to having my daughter,” Petrowski said. “I remember praying every single day, nonstop.”

The couple said they are emotionally shattered and wouldn’t “wish this pain and this hurt” on their worst enemy.

Petrowski urged others to “always look at the backseat of the car, and if there is a child in there or you hear a child screaming, please just — you know, help.”

“As for day care centers,” she continued, “If you know a child is not there at their appointed time, please contact the parents or someone on the emergency list right away.”

A medical examiner’s autopsy is pending.

Brooks has been charged with abandonment or abuse of a child resulting in death, a first-degree felony. She is being held at the Hobbs City Jail awaiting arraignment.

A GoFundMe has been arranged to raise funeral funds.

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