MOUNT VERNON-

It's the first time the family has come forward about what happened the day their little boy died in his mother's car.

Joshua Dela Cruz, nicknamed by family as Joshie, was only 14 months old.  His great aunt Geneva recalls, "He'd just give you a big old smile and you couldn't help but just grab those cheeks." 

Police say the little boy with the big old smile died in his car seat Monday. 




The family says this could have happened to anyone.  His mom, Sofia, was out of her routine.  She woke up late Monday morning and was rushing to work.  Her husband had strapped the little boy in his car seat, right behind the driver's side.  He was sleeping soundly as his mom drove to work. 




In a rushed and frantic state, his mother simply forgot that it was her day to drop off her baby to daycare.  The baby's grandmother, Christina Ibarra says, "With that pressure on her, she totally forgot about taking Josh to daycare.  She didn't even punch in (to work) that morning."

When she walked to her car seven hours later, she discovered the baby in the back seat.  That's when she scrambled to get help for the baby boy.  It was too late, he had already died.  One of the family members says, "She started crying and she said he was in that car all day crying for me, crying for me all day.  She just broke down and she already has that in her mind what he was going through throughout that whole day."

Joshua Dela Cruz



This is what family members say what happened that fateful day.  They say Joshie's mom is a devoted parent who is devastated by what happened.  

They are unsure if Sofia will face charges but family members say the sorrow and guilt over this tragic accident is the most painful punishment Joshie's mother could face.  Geneva says, "I just can't even imagine.  I just want to hold Sofia and tell her it's going to be ok, but it's not because it's such a heavy burden."



The mother was arrested Monday night. She has since been released. 

The little boy will be laid to rest tomorrow in Mount Vernon

His family is still struggling to pay for the unexpected costs of the baby's funeral.

If you'd like to help, there is an account set up at US Bank.  It's under the care of Josh's great aunt Geneva Oliverez.