Tammy Brooks has been charged with abandonment or abuse of a child resulting in death, a first-degree felony.

By Steve Helling
September 25, 2019
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Credit: GoFundMe

A two-year-old girl has died after being left in a hot car — and authorities allege her babysitter is responsible for her death.

On September 17, police in Hobbs, New Mexico, received a 911 call around 1:30 p.m. The caller told the dispatcher that she had accidentally left a toddler in her vehicle for several hours.

Authorities arrived at the scene and found the 2-year-old Zariah Hasheme dead. Tammie Brooks, 41, told police that she was babysitting the toddler and was supposed to drop her off at daycare. She allegedly went to work instead, and left the baby in her vehicle.

“The child was left unattended in a car seat for several hours until Brooks realized the child was still in the car after running an errand,” the Hobbs Police Department wrote in a Facebook post.

Brooks has been charged with abandonment or abuse of a child resulting in death, a first-degree felony. She was held at the Hobbs County Detention Center until a judge released her on unsecured bond.

Zariah’s death has devastated her parents, Zachary Hasheme and Demi Petrowski, who had tried for several years to have a baby.

“I would not wish this pain and this hurt upon my worst enemy,” Petrowski told KOB-TV. “I had six miscarriages previously to having my daughter. I remember praying every single day, nonstop.”

Zariah’s parents call her a “miracle baby” who they wanted very much. She was an only child. They hope that their daughter’s death will be a lesson to others.

“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,” Demi told KOB-TV. “As for day care centers, if you know a child is not there at their appointed time, please contact the parents or someone on the emergency list right away.”

Family friends have organized a GoFundMe page to help pay for Zariah’s funeral expenses.

Tammie Brooks has not yet entered a plea. Court records do not reflect an attorney authorized to speak on her behalf and she did not immediately return PEOPLE’s message for comment. She will return to court next month.

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