2-year-old boy found dead in van in Santa Clarita
The Associated Press

SANTA CLARITA, Calif.A 2-year-old boy died after his mother left him inside the family minivan for hours, authorities said.
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies responded to a call late Monday afternoon and found the toddler's body strapped in a car seat, Lt. Dave Dolson said.

Paramedics arrived about the same time as deputies and pronounced the boy dead, Dolson said.

"The mother of this young boy was out running errands, shopping, and when she returned home, two of the three kids got out of the car and went into the house," Dolson said.

"A period of time elapsed and then the mother realized her young son was missing," he said. "She looked for him the car and found him strapped in the baby seat."

The boy apparently had been there several hours, Dolson said. Temperatures in the area reached the 90s Monday.

Investigators questioned family members, including the mother. When asked what explanation she gave, Dolson said: "I think 'distracted' was part of her statement."

"She is very distraught," he said. "Both parents are very distraught.

The mother was seen leaving the home Monday night in a sheriff's patrol car. Dolson said she was being taken in for questioning but was not in custody.

It was not known whether any charges would be filed.


Santa Clarita boy, 2, dies after being left in minivan for hours
L.A. County sheriff's investigators could not confirm if the death was heat-related. They say the child's mother forgot he was in the vehicle. The incident is being investigated as a homicide.
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
8:31 AM PDT, July 22, 2008
A 2-year-old Santa Clarita boy died Monday after his mother left him inside the family minivan for hours, authorities said.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were called to the 20300 block High Point Place at about 5:10 p.m. Monday and found the boy unresponsive, Lt. Dave Mark Hershey said. The boy, who was pronounced dead at the scene, had been left in the vehicle for "some time," Hershey said.

The boy's mother, whose name had not been released this morning, found him in the car moments before contacting authorities and immediately removed him from his car seat, according to Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman Ed Winter.

Sheriff's investigators could not say this morning how long the boy had been in the car, whether the windows were up or if his death was heat-related. Temperatures in the area were in the 90s late Monday afternoon.

The boy's death is being investigated as a homicide and an autopsy is expected by tomorrow. Investigators have questioned family members, including the boy's mother, but no one had been arrested this morning.

City News Service reported that the boy's mother had been shopping with her three children and got distracted once she returned home. Two of her three children got out of the car and she somehow forgot that the toddler was still inside the vehicle, officials said.

"She looked for him in the house, realized that he wasn't in the house, went out to the car and found him strapped in the baby seat unresponsive," Lt. Dave Dolson said.

"It's apparent that he was left in the car for several hours, strapped in the baby seat," he added.

Dolson told City News Service that the mother told investigators that she had been distracted. He described the parents as distraught.