A double tragedy reportedly occurred in Virginia on Tuesday with the death of a toddler and his father.
An investigation is ongoing, and more facts could unfold, but Chesterfield County Police apparently believe that the distraught dad took his own life after he accidentally and allegedly left his 18-month-old son in a hot car outside his workplace for about three hours.
Cops sadly found both of them deceased at their residence in Midlothian, Va. Family members allegedly had notified police that the child had not shown up at daycare.
At a press conference, Lt. Col. Christopher Hensley of the Chesterfield County Police explained that officers responded around noontime based on a report of a suicidal person. Upon entering the home, they allegedly discovered the toddler’s body. Officers had also noted a vehicle in the driveway, with a door left open, and containing an empty child seat.
In searching the perimeter of the location, they found an adult male with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in the woods behind the house.
“This is a horrible tragedy on so many levels, and our hearts go out to the family and friends that are gonna deal with this. 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,” Hensley said at the presser.
“Hensley said police were in contact with the child’s mother and relatives who said the boy may be in danger after they learned he had not been dropped off at daycare. The family indicated to police that the boy’s father was making suicidal statements, police said,” the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
“An investigation shows the father accidentally left the child in the vehicle for several hours and when he discovered the child dead in the vehicle, he returned home, took the child inside and then went outside and shot himself,” Fox 5 D.C. claimed.
Midlothian is about 20 miles west of Richmond.
At this writing, authorities have yet to officially announce that the infant died of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or a related issue. According to various reports, the outside temperature on Tuesday in the area ranged from 70 to 81 degrees, although parked cars obviously can get much warmer than that, and quickly.
Unfortunately, this is the time of year when ghastly and heartbreaking deaths occur involving unattended children inadvertently left in automobiles by their parents.
“The toddler’s death is the latest in a recent string of similar tragedies. Just last week, a CBS News noted.inside a car in Houston, Texas, as temperatures reached 100 degrees. In Georgia, police are investigating the death of a 3-year-old under what appear to be similar circumstances,”
According to the NoHeatStroke.org website, seven “pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths” have occurred this year so far. A total of 23 occurred in 2021.
Watch a report aired by NBC Virginia affiliate WAVY-TV:
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