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Rate of hot car deaths continues to rise

UNDATED (CBS) -- It's happened again; this time in El Paso, Texas.

A 2-year-old left in the car parked at the family's home, reports the child was left to suffocate overnight. An autopsy is now being conducted on the little girl before possible criminal charges are filed.

And it keeps happening over and over. A quick internet search says it all: at least 20 incidents involving 26 children.

Two died, raising the number of children killed from heatstroke in 2014 to 16. All of these cases are in the few short weeks since most of the nation was laser-focused on the sickening case of 22-month-old Cooper Harris in Georgia. 

The child was left by his father, Justin Ross Harris, who spent the day working at Home Depot, having lunch with friends and sexting women, all while his son spent seven hours strapped into his car seat, scratches to his face, abrasions on the back of his head; the child apparently struggling to survive the heat. 

Joseph Scott Morgan is a forensic scholar and former investigator.

"You still have a child that's strapped into a car that's exposed to extreme heat that I can assure you that no adult would be able to endure it. I certainly couldn't endure it," he says.

Cars can heat up very quickly, even in cooler temperatures. A car can go from uncomfortable to deadly very quickly.

And then there's this case out of Washington D.C.

29-year-old Teresa Channelder is charged with abandoning her severely disabled mother in a car on a day when temperatures rose to 95 degrees.

Police found and rescued her after she was trapped in the vehicle for 16 hours. Police say she suffered from severe dehydration and was sitting in her own urine and feces.

As unimaginable as leaving a child, or anyone, in a car seems, experts say there will be more cases as the temperatures across the country continue to rise.

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