A grief-stricken father took his own life after realizing that he had forgotten his 18-month-old son in the car for up to three hours.
Authorities in Chesterfield County, Virginia, received a call around 11:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, reporting that the child had been left in a vehicle for hours. Lt. Col. Christopher Hensley said police had already been in contact with the boy’s mother and relatives, who grew concerned after he had not been dropped off at daycare.
At some point, the father realized the child was still inside the car and raced back home. After removing the baby from the vehicle and taking him inside the residence, the distraught father called a relative to tell them about the incident and was worried that his child was dead. They quickly called the police to report the incident and that the father was suicidal over forgetting his baby in the hot vehicle. When officers arrived on the scene, they observed the car parked in the driveway with the back door still ajar and the child’s car seat empty. Inside, they located the deceased boy. Shortly after, the father was found dead in a wooded area behind the home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“This is a horrible tragedy on so many levels, and our hearts go out to the family and friends that are going to deal with this,” Officer Chris Hensley stated.
The identity of the father and son has not been released. According to Kids and Car Safety, this is the eighth child to die in a hot car in the United States this year.