The hearts around Texas hang heavy as a 6-month-old baby girl from Texas has died after being forgotten in the back of a hot car. According to CBS DFW, A North Texas father and former teacher in the Celina Independent School District, who is now free on bond, was arrested after his 6-month-old baby died because she was left in a hot vehicle.
Michael Shannon Thedford, the father of the baby from Texas who died in the hot car, told investigators he had taken his 3-year-old and 5-year old children to the daycare center. Fox 11 reported the baby who died in the hot car did not go to daycare with her siblings because she had a fever that spiked the night before.
The father from Texas went on to tell the investigators that after he dropped the other two children off at the daycare, he went inside his home and took a nap while his wife was at work. As he usually took all three children to daycare, he forgot his daughter was in the backseat of the car when he returned home. Fox 11 also reported more than three hours passed before the father realized he had forgotten the 6-month-old baby girl, who was still strapped in her car seat inside of the minivan.
When Michael realized what he had done, he went outside and discovered his baby girl was not moving in the car seat. He immediately took her inside and put her into the refrigerator in an attempt to cool her down and revive her. CBS DFW did put emphasis on the fact that the panicked father left the fridge door open and called 911 as well as his wife while attempting CPR to revive the baby.
By the time paramedics arrived at the Texas home, the baby was still unresponsive. Temperatures were reported to be in the mid 90s by the afternoon. A neighbor from across the street from the Thedford family watched in horror as the events unfolded. Both Thedford and the mother of the baby were in tears and the neighbor said the entire event was hard to believe.
“Forgetting a child? His child? It’s hard to believe, because how can you forget a child in your own car? It’s your child.”
Investigators will be spending time looking into what happened prior to the baby being left inside of the hot vehicle. Neighbors claimed investigators were having Thedford reenact what had happened to his baby girl with a doll before he was taken to jail.
According to CBS DFW, the Assistant Celina ISD Superintendent Bill Hemby did confirm that the father of the baby who died in the hot car was a teacher employed with the district for the 2015-2016 school year. The assistant superintendent went on to say that he had been teaching chemistry and physics prior to resigning. Thedford ended his working relationship with the school district on good terms as he had plans to start teaching college students instead. Bill Hemby referred to the father of the baby as “very conscientious” and a “hands-on father.”
CBS DFW goes on to report that the death of this baby brings the total of children who have died in a hot car due to heat stroke in the United States to 16. This number has increased by more than 230 percent compared to last year.
Texas is the number one state in the U.S. for children dying in hot cars. At least 106 children have died in vehicular heat stroke related incidents from 1991 to 2015 in the state of Texas. Thedford’s daughter is the third child to die in the state of Texas this year. A 7-month-old baby died in March and a 3-year-old died last week.
Criminal attorney Todd Shapiro believes that while the baby’s father may have been negligent, he was not reckless by means of the law.
“I think it’s going overboard. I think they’ve overcharged him, based on the facts of this case. That he acted in a reckless manner. I don’t think he consciously disregarded any unjustifiable risk in this case.”
The attorney believes all of the behaviors of the father point to someone who cared for the baby.
“It looks like he tried to do CPR to resuscitate her to no avail, so it sounds like his actions were very much as a parent that was living out their very worst nightmare.”
Thedford posted his $20,000 bond late on Tuesday night and is currently being charged with manslaughter.
Do you think the father of this baby deserves to be convicted for her death?
[Photo by Collin County Sheriff’s Department]