A Rancho Palos Verdes woman now faces murder charges for the death of her 2-year-old daughter, who authorities say was left alone for hours in a parked, running car with the heater on.
Lacey Mazzarella, 34, is accused of leaving her daughter in a car Sunday night, Sept. 22, in an unincorporated part of the county between Carson and Torrance, Deputy District Attorney David Zygielbaum said in a statement on Friday announcing the charges.
Mazzarella returned early the next morning to find her child, June Love Agosto, dead, according to the prosecutor.
“The engine and heater were both left running,” Zygielbaum said.
Mazzarella was arrested Wednesday night, Oct. 2.
In addition to the murder charge, she also faces one count of child neglect resulting in death.
On Monday, Sept. 23, deputies responded to a “baby-not-breathing” call in the 22400 block of South Vermont Avenue on Monday.
Mazzarella was by then at the scene, the Sheriff’s Department said.
The baby girl was found unresponsive and taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead at around 6 a.m., a coroner’s spokeswoman has said.
If convicted as charged, Mazzarella faces a maximum of 15 years to life in prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Her bail was set at more than $1 million.
Officials have referred to the girl’s last name as “Augusto,” but family members say it is actually “Agosto.”