Months after losing son to cancer, Visalia man mourns death of daughter in hot car tragedy

VIALIA, Calif. (KFSN) — Last week, Ruben Campos Barrios learned that his three-year-old daughter, Jessica Campos, died after being left in a red-hot car for two and a half to three hours.

It comes just months after he lost his 8-year-old son, Jessica’s brother, to brain cancer.

Court documents show that Jessica Campos’ internal body temperature at Kaweah Health was 114 degrees.

“So he just wanted to die, he didn’t want to live, because that was his main reason for living,” one of Barrios’ relatives told Action News as they translated for him.

Ruben’s ex-girlfriend and Jessica’s mother, 28-year-old Eustajia Mojica, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and child abuse in connection with Jessica’s death.

Visalia police say she drove her three children to her sister’s house last Thursday afternoon, but left Jessica in the car when they parked outside the house.

Mojica, police say, was then arranging illegal marijuana cultivation while her other children went swimming.

Eventually, Mojica realized her daughter was missing and found her lying in the back seat of the car, unresponsive.

In their reports, police say Mojica told them she saw her children outside the car when they arrived at the house, but said, “She had a lot going for her because she had recently lost one of her children.”

Mojica also told police that she had grown accustomed to letting the kids get out of the car on her own, but that her other child, who would usually help Jessica get out of the car, often closed the door on Jessica and put her in the car. dropped.

“She ran to him and said, ‘Daddy, Daddy,’ said the relative. “After work, if he came out, she would like him to take her to the store every day and when he goes to work would go, she would like to work with him.”

Police reports even describe how Ruben would remind Mojica to be careful about leaving children in hot cars.

In a statement of probable reason for arresting Mojica, Visalia police describe the tests they conducted in Mojica’s car the day after Jessica died.

Temperatures reached a maximum of 131 degrees.

Ruben is crushed by the death of his daughter, but he hopes all adults can learn something from her tragic story.

“To watch their children when they stay with the car because it happened to him and it can happen to other people,” said the family member.

Mojica is due to appear in court again next Tuesday.

She is being held in the Tulare County Adult Pre-Trial Facility.

If convicted, she faces ten years in prison.

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