Storm Lake man charged after child left in hot car dies

Friday, July 6, 2007, 10:37 AM
by Joel Hermann, KAYL, Storm Lake

A Storm Lake man is charged in connection with the death of his two-year-old nephew, who was left in a car during Thursday afternoon's near-90-degree heat. According to Storm Lake police, the child's uncle, 18-year-old Noe Vargas of Storm Lake, picked up the boy from his apartment and planned to take the child to his residence up the street.

The child, Steven Saavedra, wanted to get into his mother's car parked at the apartment complex. Police say Vargas put the child in the car, then walked home, forgetting about the boy. About five hours later, the child's mother came to Vargas' home, looking for the boy. They found him in the car, dead, and called 9-1-1.

Police have charged Vargas with child endangerment causing death. He's in jail on a $32,000 bond. An autopsy will be performed by the state medical examiner's office in Ankeny. The victim, Steven Saavedra, is the son of Jorge Saavedra and Cecilia Vargas, both of Storm Lake.