Another tragic hot car death has happened to a young child. This time a 2-year-girl died after being left in a hot car for 16 hours when her drunk father passed out. The incident happened in Baltimore on Father's Day.
6 ABC News reports that Wilber Leon Carter, 31, was arrested and charged with murder and child abuse after leaving his daughter strapped in her car seat for more than 16 hours on an 89-degree day. Police say paramedics discovered Leasia Carter unconscious and suffering from second-degree burns Monday evening. She was rushed to the hospital, but was pronounced dead when she arrived at the hospital.
Documents in the hot car death indicate that Carter informed detectives he'd been drinking Sunday while his daughter was in his custody. He said when he woke up Monday afternoon, he couldn't recall where his car was parked -- or where his daughter was until he found her unconscious in his vehicle.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Carter told authorities that he was driven by a friend at around midnight from Dundalk to Brendan Avenue. He didn't remember returning home. It wasn't until 4 p.m. Monday that he asked his mother and aunt where Leasia was. They told him they thought she was with his sister and that he had arrived home about 7 a.m. alone. This was when it was realized that the 2-year-old girl was left in the hot car for 16 hours.
Wilber Leon Carter is being held at Baltimore City Central Booking and Intake Facility. It's unknown if he has an attorney.
In 2013, Baltimore Sun published a statement by Ragina C. Averella, the manager of public and government affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic. Since that time, a disturbing number of children have been left in vehicles while summertime temperatures have soared.
At the time, Averella issued a warning about adults leaving children inside hot cars. This same type of statement regarding hot car deaths has been repeated by police and other public officials around the nation each year.
"These deaths prove a painful point – children cannot be left unattended in cars. It's important to remember that temperatures inside a car on a day with outside temperatures in the mid-to-high 90's can quickly soar to nearly 200 degrees, which is hot enough to cook many foods and to kill most living things. Never leave children or pets in a parked car. If you do see a child or pet locked in a car and cannot find the owner of the vehicle, call 911 immediately."