Toddler left alone for hours dies, Florida cops say. Couple arrested 300 miles away

A mother and her boyfriend were arrested over 300 miles from their home in Florida after her toddler was left unsupervised and died, police say.

The boyfriend and the mom of two toddlers left the kids home for eight hours while they went to work on Sept. 1, the Gainesville Police Department said in a news release Sept. 22.

When they came home, they found the 3-year-old girl unresponsive, according to police. The other child was transported to the hospital and survived.

Donrea McLaughlin, 22, and her boyfriend Sean Lee II, 26, fled Florida during the course of the investigation, police said.

Initially, they told police that McLaughlin had been taking a nap for several hours when Lee woke her up, and they found the child unresponsive, according to the release.

Investigators say that’s not what happened.

“McLaughlin and Lee both attended work and did not arrange for or provide care for the toddlers, nor were the children even checked on,” Gainesville police said.

Police said say the couple fled across state lines to Atlanta, where they used to live.

“Further investigation revealed a history of prolonged abuse and neglect, which contributed to the death of the one sibling and the injury to the other,” police said.

Gainesville law enforcement coordinated with the United States Marshals Service Regional Fugitive Task Force to arrest the couple in Georgia.

They were taken into custody Sept. 18, according to Fulton County jail records.

They each face charges of felony murder, two counts of aggravated child abuse and two counts of child neglect, according to the release. Their bond was set to $4.5 million.

Police said the two will be extradited to Alachua County Jail in Gainesville.

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