Baby Dies After Being Left in Car While Dad Goes to Work

A 9-month-old baby died after his father says he accidentally forgot to drop him off at the babysitter's in the morning and instead left him in the car for hours while he went to work. The incident, which is one of so many similar stories it's becoming difficult to keep track of them all, took place on Wednesday in San Jose, California, where temperatures soared to 81 degrees.

The father, who works for a vending machine company from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., was supposed to drop his baby off at his sister-in-law's house. He says there was a "misunderstanding" and he forgot to do so. When he returned to his vehicle after work, he was reportedly inconsolable after discovering his baby was unconscious from the heat and that he was responsible. The child was declared dead shortly after paramedics arrived on the scene.

I don't know about you, but it's really easy for me to hear a story like this and think: Lock him up -- he was an irresponsible parent. But in this case, dad didn't leave his baby in a car so he could smoke pot with a friend or have sex -- yep, both those things have happened. It sounds instead like he truly, honestly made a terrible mistake and that he is losing his mind over it.

More from The Stir: 4-Month-Old Baby Dies After Being Locked in Car Overnight

Now, you might be thinking, how could this happen? How could people pass this man's car parked on the street and not see a baby locked inside alone? For one thing, the car had tinted windows. Another: since the baby was so young, he was sitting in a rear-facing car seat and it's more difficult to spot a child strapped into one. It sounds like this was a horrific accident that had a nightmare ending because of other circumstances.

The father has not been charged by police -- yet. This is the first baby death of its kind reported this year. Let's hope it's also the last.

Do you think this dad deserves to be charged with murder for leaving his baby in the car while he went to work?


Image via Chris Moewes/Flickr

accidents, cars, child abuse, crime, death, in the news, law


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Graca... Gracalynsmom

This is becoimg so common. We have a  simple rule, all rear facing car seats must be removed from the car when exiting, if the car seat is in the car, then so is the baby.

Jacee... Jacee2348

I don't think a murder charge is appropriate (I know some will disagree); however, there needs to be repercussions to somehow keep this from happening so frequently. @Gracalynsmom - I think that is a great rule - as long as the adult exiting the car remembers to look to see if there is a car seat in the car. Unfortunately, people are always in such a rush and so distracted by cell phones, work, stress, etc. One of the best ideas I've heard is to place something that you MUST take into work with you right beside the car seat therefore insuring that you have to get into the back seat of the car & will see if you have indeed forgotten your baby. Sad, sad story...

Sarah... SarahHall58

I'm irrationally afraid I'm going to do this so I'm always hyper vigilant. I live in Las Vegas where a baby would die in just a few minutes. I always take the car seat out of the car when I take the baby out. I couldn't imagine doing this and being able to continue with my own life. That would be devastating. I'm sure being exhausted plays a huge part.

Stashlee Stashlee

We put one of those toy links on the steering wheel whenever baby is in the car. Since my husband is the one who drops off sitters have been instructed to call me and my husband if he is 30 minutes or more late to prevent this.

nonmember avatar graham

How do you forget your baby? How?

RobJar RobJar

Did the SIL not call to see why the baby was never dropped off?

pippi311 pippi311

It sounds like it was truly a mistake and I feel bad for the grief the father must feel but for the life of me I cannot understand how you forget about your child. Even on my most exhausted days my kids are still always in the forefront of my mind.

nonmember avatar julie

I know this can easily happen when routines are broken. 90% of the time, I am dropping off our daughter before work. My husband and I always let each other know when we arrive at work through a quick text. When he drops off our daughter, I will always ask, "How was she this morning?" That serves as a reminder. God forbid he forgot to drop her off, that would clue him in on that fact she is still in his car.

The thought of coming out to your car with a child left behind on accident after a long day at work horrifies and sickens me. Does the dad deserve to be thrown in jail? Maybe. But if this man is anything like my husband and just a great, all around guy that made a HORRIBLE mistake, the price he is going to pay (in or out of jail) is more than the law could ever impose. He has to live with the fact he killed his child. I don't think I would ever get over that and would live in an internal prison for the rest of my life.

MyNam... MyNameIs-

Awhile back, one of the kids I sit for wasn't dropped off. I gave it half an hour and then called the mom. Turns out she had the day off and I forgot she wasn't coming. But I was scared she forgot to drop off her kid and left the kid in the car by mistake. Never hurts to double check!


Prayers of strength to the family involved, especially the father. But, I am wondering why the SIL didn't call either if she was expected to watch the baby? Even if his cell was not accessible, I would think a call the job to dispatch a message to him would have worked...not doing the blame game--just wondering.

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