Sheriff says baby dies after being left in car by mistake

An 8-month-old boy has died after being left in a car for 2½ hours from error, Louisiana investigators said.

The infant was discovered in the car roughly 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, when his protector drove into a daycare centre to pick up him, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s spokeswoman Dawn Panepinto said.

Thursday, the infant was not there: he was in the car’s back seat, she wrote in a news release.

“The protector has been quite cooperative and working with detectives. She is clearly distraught,” Sheriff Daniel Edwards said in the statement.

The girl thought she’d dropped off the baby roughly 8 a.m., but he apparently spent the afternoon in the car outside the woman’s workplace in Hammond, roughly 20 miles (65 kilometers) northeast of New Orleans.

Temperatures there reach 90 degrees (32 degrees Celsius) Wednesday. At that temperature outside, a car’s interior can attain 136 degrees (58 degrees Celsius) within an hour, University of Georgia scientists have discovered .

Panepinto said after the investigation is completed the case will be turned over to prosecutors.

She wrote that people need to organize for childcare providers to call if a child does not appear; to make a habit of checking front and back seats before locking a car door; and to make reminders for a child’s presence, like leaving their handbag or briefcase in the rear seat or leaving a stuffed animal in view.

“This is the first case for the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office where a child had died as a consequence of being left inside of a vehicle and we need it to be the last,” she wrote.

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