Mother of 21-month-old Oregon girl who died after being left in hot car threatened suicide, lawyer says

A mother in Roseburg, Oregon, begged prison guards to let her commit suicide after she was arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter in connection to the death of her 21-month-old daughter, her lawyer said.

Remington Engler died after her mother, Nicole Engler, left her in a hot car for roughly eight hours last week when temperatures reached nearly 80 degrees, the Oregonian reported.

Engler found Remington “blue and unconscious” around 4:30 p.m. in the parking lot outside Evergreen Family Medicine – where she works as a nurse practitioner – on June 21.

The mother frantically ran her daughter inside Evergreen Family Medicine where staff attempted to revive the child. Unsuccessful, the young girl was rushed to Mercy Medical Center where she later died.

Engler was then taken into custody by authorities with the Roseburg Police Department. While in jail, the mother was “pulling out her hair in clumps and pleading to take her own life,” her lawyer, David Terry, told the Oregonian.

The incident started the morning of June 21. Engler’s husband, Peter, typically took Remington to daycare. But the emergency room tech’s shift had ended only hours before the young girl needed to be dropped off, prompting Engler to let her husband sleep and take Remington to daycare herself.

Lost in thought, however, the mother never made it to the daycare — driving directly to her place of work instead, arriving around 8 a.m.

That afternoon, she drove to a local coffee shop and then returned to work. It wasn’t until she was leaving for the day that she found her daughter unconscious inside the Honda CRV.

“It was one of the saddest moments of my 40-year career,” Terry said, referring to the moment he saw Peter “sobbing uncontrollably” over his daughter’s body at the medical center. Police also drove Engler to the medical center, where Terry said he “sat with her while she held the light of her life.”

A day later, on June 22, Engler was released from the Douglas County jail on a $50,000 bond. She is expected in court in August, according to jail records. But Terry told the newspaper that he’s pressuring prosecutors to drop the charges against the mother, as Remington’s death was recently ruled an accident by the Douglas County Medical Examiner.

“This is not about a heartless mother who does the unthinkable,” Terry said.

District Attorney Richard Wesenberg declined to comment on the case when contacted by the Oregonian, but said in a statement that “all available evidence” is being considered.

Madeline Farber

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