Thursday, July 19, 2018

UPDATE: TPSO investigates death of 8-month-old left in car

UPDATE: TPSO investigates death of 8-month-old left in car
Posted: Oct 12, 2017
Categories: Front Page, Crime
Comments: 0
HAMMOND, LA – – Yesterday, the TPSO began investigating the death of an 8-month-old baby boy after being left in a car for a long period of time.

Sheriff Edwards would like to report that the ABC Academy, a daycare center in Natalbany, has no involvement with the case or with the child’s death. To our knowledge, there are and have been no reports of wrongdoing as it relates to the daycare center.

Sadly, the baby was found unresponsive inside of the vehicle - outside of the daycare after the child’s guardian arrived to pick him up. The child’s guardian thought she had dropped the child off at daycare on her way to work yesterday morning, however she never did.

When the female went to pick up the child yesterday afternoon, the baby was not there. She returned to her vehicle and discovered the infant in the back seat, still in his car seat. Subsequently, the child was pronounced dead at the scene.

It is believed the baby was inside the vehicle at the female’s place of employment all day – which is located in Hammond, LA.

“The guardian has been very cooperative and working with detectives. She’s obviously distraught. This is a tragic situation and that’s why we remind parents all the time that tragedies like this aren’t supposed to happen but they do," Edwards said. "So, we just want to make sure that people understand to take extra care, especially during the summer. And of course, all times of the year, make sure you know where your children are.”​

Upon completion of this investigation, all evidence and findings will be sent to the DA’s office for review.

Whenever a case like this occurs-- the response is the same: How could a parent leave her child in a car? It's one thing to forget a gallon of milk and quite another to forget a child? ... isn't it? The idea of forgetting a child in a car is such a horrifying prospect for parents that the only way they can deal with it is to make themselves feel as different as possible from the parent who did this. Therefore, you don't have to think about this tragedy because it could never happen to you.

But guess what folks, we are not immune to such tragedies. Life happens, uncontrollable circumstances happen. The one thing that law enforcement teaches us is that there are no routine traffic stops, no two cases or incidents are exactly alike. This is why we focus on facts, evidence, circumstances. ...however we are confident to say that tragedy does not discriminate.

At this time our call-to-action directed at parents, guardians, childcare providers, and everyone who cares about the safety of children. Everyone in the community has a role to play in keeping kids safe.

We urge parents and caregivers to take the following precautions to prevent such incidents like this from occurring:

• Make a habit of looking in the vehicle – front and back – before locking the door and walking away;
• Ask the childcare provider to call if the child doesn't show up for care as expected;
• Do things that serve as a reminder that a child is in the vehicle, such as placing a purse or briefcase in the back seat to ensure no child is accidentally left in the vehicle, or writing a note or using a stuffed animal placed in the driver's view to indicate a child is in the car seat.

This is the first case for the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office where a child had died as the result of being left inside of a vehicle and we want it to be the last.