Broward County

She left her toddler in a car on a July day. She’s now in a jail cell.

911 Call from doctor after mother makes horrifying discovery

The 911 call a doctor made after Emily Bird discovered her 17-month-old son, Eli, had been in the car throughout her work shift after she forgot to drop him off at daycare.
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The 911 call a doctor made after Emily Bird discovered her 17-month-old son, Eli, had been in the car throughout her work shift after she forgot to drop him off at daycare.

A Fort Lauderdale mother whose 17-month-old son died after she left him in a hot car during a July day at work was taken into custody Wednesday on a charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child.

Emily Bird, 34, first seemed to fit the profile of the parent who tragically leaves a young child in a hot car — highly stressed, perhaps short on sleep and off her established routine.

Bird said she thought she dropped son Eli at day care on July 13 before her shift at Memorial Hospital Pembroke. She said she didn’t realize she hadn’t done drop-off until she went back to the day care for pickup. After that, Bird said she drove back to her hospital. Resuscitation efforts there and at another hospital proved unsuccessful.

But a search warrant seen by Herald news partner CBS4 also indicated Bird didn’t call 911 as quickly as she stated. Instead, the warrant indicated, she picked up Eli’s belongings and sat in the car for several minutes. Only then, the warrant said, did she drive back to the hospital and call paramedics.

The Bird family — Emily, Ian Bird, Eli Bird and another son — didn’t have any open cases with the Florida Department of Children and Families, but the deployment of DCF’s Incident Rapid Response Team indicates there had been a previous report involving the family within the previous year.

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