The central Ohio couple were traveling across the sweltering Oklahoma plains with their infant and toddler, destined for a new home.
The temperature was hovering around 100 degrees late Monday afternoon when Christopher and Angela Randolph stopped their packed car to buy water at a convenience store in Ardmore, Okla., just north of the Texas border.
It was then that Mrs. Randolph discovered that their 23-day-old daughter, Hannah, was not breathing in her car seat in the back.
The distraught mother ran into the store with the baby in her arms. A 911 dispatcher gave CPR instructions until paramedics could arrive.
But the baby was pronounced dead shortly after she was brought into the Mercy Hospital emergency room in Ardmore.
Authorities said the infant died from heat exposure because the family was traveling in a car that had no air conditioning, was packed with their belongings and had only one window rolled down.
Police are awaiting the medical examiner's report to pinpoint the cause of death, Ardmore Police Sgt. Ryan Hunnicutt said.
The Randolphs were arrested yesterday afternoon and are expected to be charged with child neglect, Hunnicutt said. Their 15-month-old who was traveling with them wasn't hurt and was taken by county officials in Oklahoma, and placed with relatives.
The Randolphs were looking for a new start in Oklahoma.
Christopher Randolph, 28, and Angela Randolph, 26, had lived in Lewis Center, according to state records.
After a 16-hour drive, they were only 30 miles east of their destination of Ringling, Okla., where they were going to move in with relatives.
The couple spent last night in the Carter County Detention Center. They will make their first appearance in court on Friday afternoon, when formal charges are expected to be filed, according to the Carter County district attorney's office.
Marsha Miller of the Daily Ardmoreite in Ardmore, Okla., contributed to this story.