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Police: Father charged with murder in death of 2-year-old girl left in hot car for 16 hours

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BALTIMORE — A Baltimore man has been charged with murder and child abuse after police say he passed out from drinking on Father's Day and left his 2-year-old daughter strapped in a car seat for more than 16 hours in 89-degree heat, leading to her death.

Baltimore police arrested 31-year-old Wilbert Leon Carter on Monday hours after his infant daughter was discovered unconscious and with second-degree burns on her body that police say she suffered from exposure in the back of a Lincoln Town car.

Carter told investigators he'd been drinking alcohol Sunday while caring for his daughter, for whom Carter said he has sole parental custody. Carter told police that a friend had driven him back from the Dundalk area around midnight and parked on Brendan Avenue. It was unclear where he went after the car was parked. He later made his way home and woke up around 4 p.m. Monday and didn't know where the car was parked or when he'd returned home, according to the charging documents. Carter said he asked his mother and aunt where the baby was, and the women said they thought she was with Carter's sister because they'd seen him come in alone around 7 a.m.

Carter's cousin called him Monday evening to tell him he'd spotted the car, according to the charging documents. Carter then found his daughter, unresponsive and still strapped into her car seat.

Carter has a history of heavy drinking, and "in the past has consumed alcohol to the point of passing out," police wrote in the charging document.

No attorney is listed for Carter in online court records.

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