After Fatally Forgetting His Son in Car, Dad Kills Self

18-month-old was never dropped off at his Virginia daycare
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2022 12:47 AM CDT
Dad Kills Himself After Allegedly Forgetting His Son in Car, Fatally
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / David Carpio)

(Newser) – Police say a father in Chesterfield County, Va., took his own life shortly after realizing he'd left his 18-month-old son in his car Tuesday and the child died. At some point in the morning, the man realized he'd left the boy in the car and brought him inside their Midlothian home, police say. He then reportedly called family members to tell them what had happened, as well as his plans to end his own life, and those family members alerted police, WTVR reports. Officers arrived at the home around 11:42am and found the vehicle in the driveway, its door open and the child's car seat empty. They found the 18-month-old in the home, dead, and the father dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound in a wooded area behind the house, CNN reports. The temperature reached 81 degrees in the area Tuesday, and police say the boy may have been in the car up to three hours.

The child had been expected at daycare, but never arrived, NBC News reports. It's just one of multiple recent hot car tragedies to make headlines (see here and here). "Our hearts go out to the family and friends that are going to deal with this," a Chesterfield police officer says. "But we would be remiss in not taking the opportunity for people to take this moment and realize how important it is to obviously check your vehicles." Children can die in hot cars even in mild temperatures, so authorities recommend coming up with a plan (such as always checking the back of the car before locking it, placing a stuffed animal in the front passenger seat to remind you a child is in the back, or putting your purse or other personal items in the back seat rather than the front) to make sure a child is not forgotten in the car. (Here's how it can happen.)

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