On record hot day, infant left in vehicle found dead

By JENNIFER LEAHY
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

A 7-month old girl died Friday from heat exposure after being left in a sport utility vehicle all day.

Police said her father forgot to drop her off at day care before going to work on a day that set record-breaking temperatures in the afternoon.

"He placed her in the car in the morning and drove to work at Rice University," HPD Sgt. Robert Blain said.

In what appears to have been a deviation from the family's schedule, the father was expected to drop the little girl off at Montessori County Day early Friday morning, police said.

The mother had arranged to bring the baby's 4-year-old brother at a different time for a morning swim lesson, police said.

On Friday evening, police said the father left Rice University and drove to the day care in his 2002 Toyota 4-Runner expecting to pick up both his daughter and son when he discovered the dead infant.

The girl was found, still strapped in her rear car seat, when the father returned to the Montessori school in the 1600 block of Rosedale about 5:30 p.m.

The infant was taken to Texas Children's Hospital where she was pronounced dead. No criminal charges are pending, said Bain, who added that police have no reason to believe that the death was nothing more than a tragic accident on the father's part.

Temperatures on Friday at George Bush Intercontinental Airport reached 88 degrees 2 degrees warmer than the 1936 record of 86 degrees, the National Weather Service.