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Community mourns loss of child

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

GERONIMO, OK (KSWO) - A community is mourning the death of an infant who died in a hot car in Geronimo Tuesday.

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents said three-month old Mame Neta Attocknie was found unconscious in her car seat at the Geronimo Dollar General store Tuesday evening. They said the child's foster father was supposed to drop the girl off at daycare in the morning after he dropped his son off at school, but he failed to do that, instead going to sleep after working a night shift.

The mistake was not realized until 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday when the girl's foster mother tried to pick her up from daycare. She called her husband, who had just sent his teenage son with the car to the Dollar General. Both parents then went to the store, where they found the baby still in the backseat lifeless.

From the time the girl was left in the car to the time the mistake was realized, agents believe the girl was alone in the hot car for roughly 9 hours. When the foster parents got to their child, they immediately called 9-1-1 but at that point it was already too late.

"It's very difficult. It's pretty tough. It's hard to deal with," Geronimo Mayor Kevin Bayman said.

Bayman said this is the fifth death in Geronimo in just the last few weeks. With Geronimo being such a small, tight-knit area, all of the tragedy has taken its toll on everyone.

"All of us live very close proximity to each other, we all know each other very well," Bayman said. "And the first initial thing is you're really surprised to hear that it's here."

Bayman said this is something you usually expect to see on a larger, national level.

"We're a very quiet community and kind of keep to ourselves so something of that magnitude is definitely a shock to everyone involved," Bayman said. "You just really don't think it's ever going to happen to you."

Bayman said despite the criticism he has seen, everyone in Geronimo knows the family and knows that they are good people.

"Bad things happen to good people all the time, this was an unfortunate accident and we're very sorry to see it happened," Bayman said. "We certainly want to extend our support and condolences to the family and to the first responders."

Bayman said he has seen a lot of criticism of the family on social media and hopes people will slow that criticism down as the investigation continues.

"If something ever happened that you made a mistake, maybe you would want people to not rush to judgment," Bayman said. "Wait until the facts come out. I certainly believe in justice, but I don't think at this point it is probably a prudent point for someone to say any kind of opinion."

This is still an active investigation and as of right now, no arrests have been made.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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