Palm Bay Mother Charged With Aggravated Manslaughter In 14-Month-Old Child’s Heat Stroke Death

By  //  April 17, 2019

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Emily Hartman is currently at the Brevard County Jail

The mother, Emily C. Hartman from Palm Bay, has been charged with Aggravated Manslaughter by Neglect, Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Sell, and Possession of Marijuana less than 20 Grams.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Melbourne Police have arrested the mother of a 14-month-old boy after the child died of a heat stroke, according to officers who conducted a two-week investigation.

The mother, Emily C. Hartman from Palm Bay, has been charged with Aggravated Manslaughter by Neglect, Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Sell, and Possession of Marijuana less than 20 Grams.

Police say after numerous interviews with Hartman, associates and reviewing the evidence, the investigation shows the 26-year-old mother left her child unattended in her vehicle several times Wednesday night (April 3) into Thursday afternoon (April 4).

“During this time frame, she left her child in the car alone for approximately one hour while she drank with a friend in a Melbourne bar,” said a spokesperson with the Melbourne Police Department.

“After leaving the bar, she drove around to various locations attempting to make contact with different people associated with her for various reasons.” 

The investigation also revealed that on Thursday morning at around 6:45 a.m., she arrived at a North Melbourne home where she went inside and remained for approximately five to six hours.

While inside the home, she smoked marijuana and obtained several grams of cocaine to sell later that day.

Meanwhile, her child, Richard Wighard, was still in the parked car along the street.

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Hartman admitted to police that the vehicle’s engine was off for at least three of those hours during this period of time.

After leaving the home, she entered her car and noticed Richard was in distress and took him to the fire station where medical treatment was rendered.

Sadly, the child later died at the hospital in Orlando.

The autopsy determined that the child suffered heat stroke while locked in the car which ultimately caused his death.

Hartman was turned over to the Brevard County Jail with no bond. Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact Detective Dennis Higgins at 321-608-6467

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