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Pierce Egerton
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Murder Charges in Death of 1 Year-Old Boy Left in Hot Car

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The deaths of children are always tragic and moving. So it is with the recent news from Danville, Virginia. On Wednesday a grand jury issued felony indictments for two women in connection with a child neglect case that resulted in the death of a 1 year-old boy and left two other persons hospitalized.

The charges stem from an incident on June 21 when a 911 caller alerted emergency services to the presence of unresponsive children in a parked car at a shopping center. The car was no longer at the scene when police arrived.

With the help of witnesses, officials tracked the vehicle to a residence where they found the 1 year-old boy, his 3 year-old sister and a 78 year-old woman suffering from heat exposure. The 1 year-old was pronounced dead on June 25. The Medical Examiner’s Office specified the cause of death as hyperthermia.

The two other victims were released from the hospital on June 24.

The two women charged are the mother of the children and a relative who is the caretaker of the 78 year-old victim. According to the Danville police, the mother is charged with Felony Murder (1 count), Aid and Abet Abuse and Neglect of Incapacitated Adult (1 count), and Child Neglect and Abuse (2 counts). The caretaker is charged with Aid and Abet Felony Murder and Abuse (1 count), Neglect of Incapacitated Adult (1 count), and Aid and Abet Child Neglect and Abuse (2 counts).

Both women were arrested yesterday and were being held without bond.

Hot cars can be death traps. Keep these facts from the Buncombe County Health Department in mind:

Temperatures can quickly reach up to 200°F in a car.

  • Each year children and pets left in cars die from the heat
  • Within minutes, the temperature in a car climbs
  • The hotter the day, the faster the heat rises inside the car
  • Cracking the window does nothing to decrease the temperature inside the car
  • Having the air conditioning on before leaving the car does not keep the vehicle cool
  • If you see a child alone in a car, call the police or dial 911

Hot cars can kill… never leave a child or pet alone in a car!