Florida grandfather accused of leaving toddler in hot rental car at Daytona Beach airport

A Florida grandfather was arrested for allegedly leaving his 1-year-old grandchild in a rental car that he returned to the Daytona Beach International Airport Monday, according to the Volusia Sheriff's Office. Deputies said the girl had been left in the hot vehicle for at least 45 minutes.

David Towner, 62, who made his first appearance in court on Tuesday afternoon, is charged with child neglect. 

Deputies immediately sprang into action after receiving a 911 call from the toddler's mother.  "He said that he had my daughter at the house, and he left my daughter in the rental car…"  The frantic call was made around 6 p.m. on Monday. The mother continued, "I’m going to meet them at the airport. I’m going as fast as I can!"

Deputies assigned to the airport met with Hertz rental car employees who said they found the girl in the back seat of the vehicle and immediately removed her. The girl was scared and hot, but in good health when checked by paramedics, according to deputies. The temperature in the unshaded parking lot at the time of the incident was reported to be about 80 degrees. 


(Photo via Volusia Sheriff's Office)


The Department of Children and Families was notified of the incident. 

Towner, who was reportedly remorseful and cooperative with the investigation, was babysitting his granddaughter for the day because the girl's daycare facility was closed due to the Columbus Day holiday, according to an arrest report. A judge set Towner’s bond at $2500 and ordered that he make no contact with the child.  

FOX 35 reached out to Hertz for comment and a spokesperson responded saying, "We’re grateful for the actions of our Hertz teammates and glad the child is safe."  

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said he plans to issue citizens awards to the Hertz employees involved in the incident.