N.C. Child Dies After Being Left in Car

North Carolina Toddler Dies After Left in Hot Car, Two Other Children Are in Critical Condition


The Associated Press



One child died and two others were hospitalized after they were left in a hot car Wednesday one of three incidents in two days in which a child died after being left in a vehicle.

Two-year-old Kenneth Pratt died after being taken to a hospital. Jaquon Pratt, 1 year old, and Nataliya Pratt, 4 months old, were in critical condition Wednesday evening.

Police said they weren't sure who put the children in the car or who called 911. The children had been in the care of their mother, also named Nataliya Pratt, police said.

Midday temperatures in Fayetteville reached the 90s.

Detective Carl Wile said it didn't appear to be a malicious act and no charges had been filed.

In Nashville, Tenn., a 22-month-old boy died Wednesday after he was discovered in a van at a day care center.

David Gordon was found in the back seat of a van at about 4 p.m. by a parent who came to pick up her child. The boy's mother, Zenobia Newell Gordon, 31, was inside the building when he was found. Gordon is a co-owner of the center.

Police concluded the boy was left in the van all day. The temperature reached 89 degrees in Nashville on Wednesday.

Authorities said the death will be investigated by the district attorney's office and a grand jury, but there was no indication it was intentional.

The deaths come after the operator of a California day care center was arrested after her two foster sons, ages 5 and 3, were left in a sweltering vehicle for five hours and died. Afternoon temperatures reached 100 degrees on Tuesday in Lancaster, north of Los Angeles.

Leslie Sue Smoot, 48, was booked late Tuesday for investigation of child cruelty and held on $100,000 bail. Authorities confirmed Smoot had hired a lawyer, but said they did not know the attorney's name.