Brenda immediately grabbed her keys and raced to the parking lot. "I knew what I was going to find," she says. "I opened my car door, and I remember hearing the voices around me. Teachers who were close to me [were] screaming."
When she got to her car she found Cecilia in the backseat, still strapped into her car seat. Brenda says she grabbed her daughter out of the car as fast as she could, but she knew it was too late.
"I knew she was gone as soon as I picked her up, I knew," she says. "I remember I took her, and I ran through the parking lot with her, screaming her name. Then, what brought me kind of to consciousness, I guess, was somebody from the cafeteria yelled for me to bring her here."
Brenda says she handed her lifeless daughter to someone who tried to revive her. Then, she retreated to another part of the cafeteria and began to pray. "I heard people yelling for ice, and I sat in a ball and I prayed," she says. "I prayed harder than I've ever prayed in my life. ... But I knew she was gone."
Cecilia died of a heatstroke after being left in the car for nearly eight hours. Outside, temperatures had reached 100 degrees.