A mother is in jail without bond after the Limestone County Sheriff's Office said she left her 13-month-old baby locked inside a car.
Elizabeth Anne Case, 36, is charged with murder after the baby died.
"How can somebody do it? How can they really? I just don't understand it," Earlene Russell said.
She along with other members at Fairview Baptist Church said they were heartbroken to hear about the mother who was charged with the murder of her own baby. The church is on the same road where the mother lived.
Investigators determined Case left her home on East Limestone Road between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. on Friday night, and had the baby buckled in a front-facing car seat. They stated the seat was not strapped to the vehicle.
Officials said Case went dumpster diving around both Madison and Limestone counties while the child was in the car. They said she got back home at around 5:40 a.m. on Saturday, left the child in the car and went to bed.
Deputies said Case didn't wake up until about 1:30 p.m. Saturday when the baby's grandmother came to the house to see him. They then found the baby still in the car.
"I would be devastated. I would be totally devastated. It's just hard to understand," Russell said.
Case didn't immediately go to the hospital, but instead investigators said she brought the child inside her house and put him in the shower.
However, the grandmother did call for help, and took Case and the baby to first responders at a nearby recreation center at Highway 251 and Highway 31.
Paramedics rushed the child to Athens-Limestone Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Russell says her thoughts and prayers are now with the baby's grandmother.
"Pray for her because she's going to need all the prayers in the world since she lost that child I wouldn't know what to do if I lost my grandchild or my daughter."
Officials said Case is "a known drug user and was out of jail on bond for a First-Degree Robbery Charge."
This raised several questions as to why the child was in the mother's custody in the first place. WAAY 31 reached out to the Limestone County Department of Human Resources. We were told to call back Monday because they were only taking emergency calls since it was the weekend.
This is the third child to die in a hot car in Alabama this year, according to KidsAndCars.org It was also the 49th in the country. Alabama ranks #13 in the nation based on the number of child hot car deaths. Last year was the worst year in history for child hot car deaths with a total of 54 children that died nationwide.