The car where the toddler was found. Courtesy OnScene.tV

The mother of a toddler who died after being found unconscious in a vehicle outside their Tierrasanta home was charged Monday with felony child abuse.

Pricilla Marquez Harris, 24, is accused in the Aug. 5 death of her 20-month-old daughter, who the defendant initially reported missing in a 12:30 p.m. call to police.

She called again a short time later to say the girl had been found inside her car, which was parked outside their residence in the 10300 block of Leary Street, and told a dispatcher that the child was unresponsive and not breathing, according to San Diego Police.

Medics went to the home and tried in vain to revive the toddler before pronouncing her dead at the scene, Officer Billy Hernandez said.

Child abuse detectives were called in to investigate the death and their findings were forwarded to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, which issued an arrest warrant for Harris, who was taken into custody by San Diego Police last Thursday, according to SDPD Lt. Carole Beason.

In addition to the felony child abuse count, Harris faces sentence-enhancing allegations of causing great bodily injury or death. She’s being held in lieu of $1 million bail, and is scheduled to return to court Oct. 2 for a readiness conference.

If convicted as charged, she would face a maximum of 12 years behind bars.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.