A 2-month-old girl died after being left inside of a vehicle for five hours in Kingman on Monday when temperatures reach more than 100 degrees, police said.
The 21-year-old father left the baby in the vehicle and went inside his home at about 11:15 a.m., taking a nap and a shower before realizing the infant had not been brought in, Kingman police Lt. Rusty Cooper said.
“It’s a terrible, terrible thing,” Cooper said.
The car was parked in the driveway and the child was in a baby seat. When the father reached the baby, she was unresponsive.
The father called 911 at about 4:20 p.m. He removed the baby from the car and attempted CPR with the help of the 911 operator.
Paramedics arrived to the residence, in the 3200 block of Calumet Avenue, and took the baby to a Kingman hospital.
The baby was pronounced dead at the hospital from heat exposure.
Police estimate the temperature inside the vehicle exceeded 115 degrees while the baby was in the vehicle. When officers arrived, the doors of the vehicle were open and the temperature was measured at 102 degrees.
The baby’s internal temperature was measured at 108 degrees at the hospital, 30 or 40 minutes after she was pulled from the car, Cooper said.
There is no indication that alcohol or drugs played a factor, Cooper said. The Mohave County Attorney’s Office will review the case to determine whether the father face charges. The 19-year-old mother of the baby and girlfriend of the father was at work at the time.
Cooper, who has worked in the police department for 19 years, said he could not recall any similar heat deaths happening this late in the year.
Last month, there was another case in Kingman where a father left his baby in a vehicle while he shopped in a supermarket, Cooper said. The baby did not die. The father was booked into a jail and charges were filed.
Erin Kuroiwa, child passenger-safety coordinator with Phoenix Children’s Hospital, said that children left in cars die throughout the year, even in temperate climates.
“We can be at risk all year round,” Kuroiwa said. “In the summer, obviously, we have higher numbers than the other months.”
Three children have died in the state this year, and there have been 46 documented cases of children dying in hot cars nationwide this year.
The children typically die of hyperthermia, often referred to as heat stroke, Kuroiwa said. Last year there were 33 deaths in hot cars nationwide. No children died in Arizona in 2009, Kuroiwa said.