Baby dies after parents leave her in hot car

A 17-month-old baby has died after her parents left her in a car for three hours in the north-eastern Italian city of Vicenza.

Baby dies after parents leave her in hot car
The girl died after being left for three hours in the vehicle in the sun. Photo: Chris Sampson/Flickr

Gioia Jekou is believed to have died from heat stroke or suffocation after she was left in a car in a parking lot for three hours in the sun on Sunday afternoon.

According to Vicenza Today the girl’s parents and five brothers had attended mass earlier that day in Aracoeli, where the family, originally from the Ivory Coast, had lived for several years.

The family then went home for Sunday lunch before going to a shopping centre, leaving the girl in the car with the windows closed.

The toddler’s parents, named as Samuel Yekou, 51, and Leontine Kouame, 40, alerted emergency services when they returned to the vehicle, but it was too late. 

The parents later told police that they had forgotten their daughter in the car. They explained that they thought the girl’s brothers were taking care of her and vice versa. They now being investigated for manslaughter.

The family moved to Italy 24 years ago and had also lost a newborn son a few years ago, Vicenza Today said.

The tragedy comes just two years after two-year-old Luca Albanese died in a similar accident.

The toddler died after his father forgot him in the back seat of his car on his way to work in the northern town of Piacenza.

He was found later that day and is believed to have died of asphyxiation in temperatures of up to 60 degrees Celsius. The father was later cleared of manslaughter.

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Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome’s Trevi Fountain

With the return of tourism and scorching temperatures, Rome’s fountains are once again attracting visitors hoping to cool off with a midnight swim.

Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome's Trevi Fountain

In the latest incident, a 26-year-old Spanish man was fined 450 euros after taking a dip in the Trevi Fountain in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Rome’s city police apprehended and fined the man after he was spotted swimming in the 18th-century monument at around 5am, according to local media reports.

READ ALSO: How to keep cool like an Ancient Roman in Italy’s summer heat

Every summer, hapless foreign visitors face fines of hundreds of euros after falling foul of Rome’s strict ban on taking a dip in public fountains – with the city mayor warning tourists that the centuries-old Baroque monuments are “not swimming pools”.

In April, two Dutch tourists also faced fines totalling over €1,000 after their own ill-advised splash in the Trevi Fountain.

The Roman landmark is one of the city’s main magnets for badly-behaved visitors, but tourists have also been fined after cooling off in the Santa Maria fountain in Trastevere, believed to be the city’s oldest. 

Since 2018, anyone caught misbehaving at Rome’s monuments can also face a temporary ‘Daspo’ ban from the area – similar to an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) in the UK – which allows city police to restrict the movement of people they deem a threat to public order.

READ ALSO: From selfie brawls to midnight swims: Tourists behaving badly at the Trevi Fountain

But a plan to erect a one-metre-high glass and steel barrier around the Trevi fountain to protect it from unruly visitors now appears to have been abandoned after arts and heritage experts called the idea “foolish”.

Fines for swimming in the fountains have been in place since 2015, but this hasn’t stopped determined visitors from recreating scenes from La Dolce Vita and even some locals from taking a dip – – with or without their clothes.

Swimming in the wrong place is just one of the offences regularly committed by visitors, with graffiti and vandalism a common problem at many of Italy’s famous monuments.

READ ALSO: 15 strange ways to get into trouble on holiday in Italy

In Rome alone, this year tourists have made headlines for everything from breaking into the Colosseum to enjoy a drink with a view to driving a car down the Spanish Steps.

Other Italian tourism hotspots, including Florence and Venice, also have varying local rules in place aimed at curbing rowdy behaviour.