KEY POINTS

  • A staff member at Roost Services, Utah, reportedly placed the child in the car
  • When the person returned to the vehicle, the child was not breathing
  • It was not clear if anyone will face charges in the incident 

A 9-year-old boy died Wednesday after he was left inside a hot car for approximately two hours in Utah.

The car was parked outside a business that cares for people with intellectual disabilities. A staff member at Roost Services reportedly placed the child in the car with the engine turned off, doors closed and windows up, American Fork Police Sgt. Josh Christensen told local media.

When the person returned to the vehicle more than two hours later, the child was not breathing, CBS-affiliated KIRO7 reported.

The worker then called the police, who arrived at 42 North and 200 East in American Fork. They attempted life-saving measures, but could not revive the child. A medical helicopter was called to take him to an area hospital. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“It’s certainly a very horrific and tragic incident,” Christensen reportedly said. “We can’t be too vigilant in making sure our children are out of the vehicle.”

The police said they were investigating why the child was taken to the car to determine if there’s any “criminal element” that led to his death. No information was revealed about the child's parents.

“It sounds as if he was picked up and brought here by a staff member, somehow there was multiple individuals who were brought here by that staff member,” Christensen told KUTV. “Everybody involved is taking this very hard.”

Christensen said it’s not clear if anyone will face charges in the incident. It’s not known if the car belonged to a staff member or Roost Services itself. 

Janette Fennell, president of Kids and Cars, said in a news release the boy was the first to die in Utah this year.

“Hot car deaths continue to take place because nobody believes this could happen to them,” Fennell said in the release. “The unfortunate reality is that this has happened to even the most loving, responsible, and attentive parents. Factors such as fatigue, stress, or a sudden change in routine can contribute to parents unknowingly leaving a child alone in a car.”

Last week, a Florida woman was arrested in connection with the death of a 2-year-old child. The toddler had been left in a hot car for hours before being found dead. Juana Perez-Domingo, 43, allegedly forgot Jocelyn Mendez in her vehicle for seven hours.

police-car-2846867_1920 Representational image Photo: Pixabay