MASON COUNTY, West Virginia — A 67-year-old West Virginia woman has been charged for the death of her great-grandson, after police say the 19-month-old child was left in a hot car for hours.
Police say the child was inside the vehicle for seven hours.
“By the time we found him, he had been dead for awhile,” A.B. Ward, corporal with the West Virginia State Police Department said.
According to police, the victim’s great-grandmother, Carolyn Davis, dropped off the boy’s mother at work on the morning of April 5th. She then drove back to her home, and brought the victim’s four-year-old sister inside. She’s accused of leaving the baby, Abel Stevens, strapped in his car seat.
“You can imagine a 19-month-old kid stuck in a car, screaming and crying,” Cpl. Ward said.
Police say temperatures outside that day reached 81 degrees. They said the car was not parked anywhere near the shade, so inside, it would’ve been anywhere from 120 to 140 degrees.
Investigators say Davis got back into the vehicle that afternoon, and drove back into town to pick the boy’s mother up from work. At that point, the child was already dead.
“Mom gets in the car and says ‘what’s wrong with my son?’ She goes to try and get him out, and he’s stiff,” Lt. Shawn Ross, with the Point Pleasant Police Department said.
Police believe Davis knew the child was dead when she left to pick up his mother, but she didn’t want to be the person who reported it.
Police say the 67-year-old woman watched the children five days a week, and she wasn’t under the influence at the time of the boy’s death.
“I’m sure it was an accident. We’re assuming he may have been asleep that morning when she took him home and she just left him in the car to sleep and forgot about him in there all day,” Cpl. Ward said.
“It doesn’t take very long for a hot car to kill a kid,” Lt. Ross said.
As summer approaches, police say this is a tragic reminder that children should never be left alone in a hot vehicle.