Two-year-old becomes sixth child to die in a hot car so far this year

Two-year-old becomes sixth child to die in a hot car so far this year

A two-year-old child in Georgia died after being found inside a hot car, but police say that they are yet to find any evidence that the young child was left inside the vehicle.

Cobb County Police say the toddler was found unresponsive in a parked vehicle in Marietta, which is around an hour outside of Atlanta, around 5.36pm on Tuesday.

First responders arrived at the home and rushed the child to a hospital by ambulance, where he was pronounced dead.

Despite being found in a car, the local police have stated that “there is no evidence to suggest that the child was left inside the vehicle,” adding that no criminal charges have been filed at this time.

Sergeant Eric Smith, with the Cobb County Police, said at a press conference on Wednesday that police have yet to determine how long the child was inside the car or how he ended up there.

Cobb County Police Chief Stuart VanHoozer also described the death as a “hot car incident.”

Kids and Car Safety, an organization that raises awareness of saving the lives of children and pets in and around vehicles, listed the incident as the sixth hot car death to occur this year in the United States.

Smith also added that the temperature on Tuesday was “ambient” and in the 90s, but it is currently unclear what the temperature was in the car at the time of death.

Chief VanHoozer told reporters that the investigation is in its preliminary stages and asked the community to give the family their grace and support.

"I would ask just for support right now [so] we have time to sort out the facts of this case," VanHoozer said. "And we will do what is right, but we don’t know right now whether or not criminal charges are warranted or whether or not outrage is warranted. But we do know that support is warranted."

“My only role today really is to extend our sympathies to the family and the friends and the neighbors and all those who were affected by this tragedy,” he added. “We need some time to sort this out before we really know what happened.”

News reporters with WANF went to the child’s home on Wednesday, where they found the family outside on the porch.

The family reported that the child did live at the home and said that the death was an accident.

VanHoozer also urged the public to "really, really, really be careful in this heat."

On average, 37 children under the age of 15 die each year from heatstroke after being left inside a vehicle, with nearly every state experiencing at least one death since 1998.

In 2024, there have been six deaths reported after being left in a hot vehicle, according to the National Safety Council.

One of the first incidents occurred in South Carolina on May 4, when a three-year-old girl managed to open the door of an inoperable car and climbed inside the hot car, dying as a result.

In another more recent incident, a mother was charged with involuntary manslaughter in North Carolina in late June after her eight-year-old daughter was pronounced dead after she was allegedly left in a vehicle in hot weather conditions and suffered a medical emergency, ABC reports.

An investigation is also currently underway for a possible seventh case in Texas after a four-year-old girl was pronounced deceased at the hospital after being left in a vehicle unattended on Wednesday evening, Houston Police say.