Michiana heat claims the life of a three-year-old boy

Story filed by NewsCenter16 Reporter
Judi Lykowski

South Bend, IN - A three-year-old boy is dead after being left in a hot car Saturday afternoon.

The family fled Africa two years ago and moved to their South Bend apartment complex.

The family is from Liberia, and Saturday evening several members of a local support group called the Liberian Association has been stopping by offering the family their condolences.

Three-year-old Abraham Barlue ended up in the family's hot car around 4:40 Saturday afternoon, and died a short time later after his grandmother found him.

She was watching him when this situation occurred Saturday, a situation that has left his entire family devastated.

Grandmother Vester Zeon said, “I was in the kitchen cooking, I did not know Abraham was outside in the car. The car was locked and the key was in my bag. I do not know how he got a key.”

Vester’s neighbor, Tammy Wallace, said, “Somehow he got into the car, shut the doors, and child safety locks, he couldn't get out. I tried to revive the baby, I evidently got a heartbeat back, and on the way to the hospital, he passed away.”

Metro Homicide was called to the scene simply because of the child's age; the little boy was only 3-years-old.

The family doesn't have insurance on the little boy, but if you would like to help with funeral costs the Liberian Association is going to set up a fund at MFB branches come Monday.

Investigators say the case is complete and will be placed on the prosecutor's desk Monday.

That office will determine if perhaps the grandmother could face charges.

Investigators and the grandmother said the boy was given permission by the grandmother to go play at the neighbor’s apartment.