Mom found drunk in Manatee Co. home left children in hot car outside, deputies say

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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Deputies say a Bradenton mother was drunk, locked herself in her house and abandoned her kids in a hot car outside.

Deputies say 35-year-old Andrea Cole could’ve easily killed her own children.

On Monday afternoon, officials say the heat index was close to 102 degrees.

Deputies were dispatched to a domestic disturbance call at Cole’s home when they noticed two children inside a parked car.

“All of the windows were rolled up except for one,” said MCSO spokesman Randy Warren.

A 3-week-old girl was unconscious while a two-year-old boy was crying from heat exhaustion. They had been there for about 20 minutes.

Deputies rescued them, and spotted used diapers, medicine and empty liquor bottles in the car.

They soon found Cole inside the house, drunk.

“We don’t know how much she was aware of what was going on,” said Warren.

Deputies found the home to be filthy, with empty liquor bottles and no edible food.

When deputies started asking her questions she became combative, clenched her fists and tried to fight them. She was arrested and charged with child neglect and resisting arrest.

During first appearance, she disputed some of the deputies’ claims.

“There was tons of food for my children!” she said to the judge.

She also had a message to share.

“I love my kids so much, I really do,” said Cole.

Her bond was set at $9,000.

The kids were taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital and will be ok. Child Protection Services is investigating.

According to the National Safety Council, 38 children die in the U.S. from hot car deaths each year.

A child can die if their internal temperature reaches 107 degrees, and in this Florida heat, the mercury can shoot up quickly.

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