Prosecutors will dismiss the manslaughter case against the mother of a 1-year-old girl who died after she was left alone for hours in a hot SUV in June, the Douglas County district attorney announced Monday.
Investigators found no evidence to show Nicole Engler, 38, was aware daughter Remington Engler was still in the car when she arrived at work in the morning, or when she returned to her Honda CRV a few hours later to get coffee nearby, District Attorney Richard Wesenberg said at a news conference.
Her husband typically took the toddler to day care in the mornings because he works a night shift, Wesenberg said. But on June 21, Engler decided to do it because her husband was still sleeping. She drove past the day care and went straight to work, according to Wesenberg.
Engler's SUV was parked that day in an area of her work parking lot with little foot traffic, the district attorney said. The back windows in the car were tinted.
Engler wasn't impaired, and all indications showed Remington was "loved and cared for in every way a mother and a father could," according to the district attorney.
He said that a backseat mirror in the SUV was not adjusted properly for Engler, so it would not have reflected Remington still in the car.
"I recognize that reasonable minds may differ on whether criminal charges should be pursued," Wesenberg said. "But I have made my decision based on the totality of the evidence that is available to me, the limits of Oregon law in this matter and the likelihood a conviction can be obtained."