Summer has officially began and already at least 10 children have died after being left unattended inside hot vehicles.
On Wednesday the Detroit Free Press reported the father of a 9 month old child died after he forgot to drop her off at the babysitters on his route work. The infant girl was left unattended in a hot pick up truck, police said.
Father of the infant Steven Lillie walked outside his office at a local strip mall around 4:45 p.m. ET Monday. When he approached his pick up truck he immediately screamed in horror. He discovered his daughter's lifeless body still strapped in her car-seat inside the pick up truck where she had been placed earlier that afternoon.
"We got a call from the co-workers saying that the child was in the back seat. We think the child may have been there for several hours," said Lt. Donna Seyferth, spokeswoman for the Rockledge Police Department. "Our officers tried to resuscitate the child, and rescuers tried every lifesaving measure they could, but it was not successful. It's beyond tragic."
The infant girl was pronounced dead shortly after paramedics arrived on the scene. An autopsy is scheduled to determine the exact cause of death.
The father of the infant was very distraught but he managed to speak with officers. He stated, he had an "unspecified disruption in his routine," according to police reports. No charges have yet been filed against Lillie, but detectives are reviewing the case to determine whether criminal negligence was involved.
"It's just too soon. When you're investigating an incident like this, you're also investigating people that have lost their child." Seyferth said, adding the police department is trying to give the family a proper amount of time to grieve.
Before exiting his office to go outside Lillie, whose home is approximately 10 miles from his office, received a phone call from a family member asking about the infant. The infant girl was supposed to have been dropped off at the babysitters about four hours prior, Seyferth said.
"Dad was distraught. That's probably the best word I could use," she said. "He was crying; he was distraught. It was probably for him and his family the worst day of their lives."
Along with the police department, The Florida Department of Children and Families are reviewing the case. The children's agency has had no prior reports of child abuse or child neglect concerning the infant, said Kristi Gray, the department's spokeswoman.
According to the National Weather Service in Melbourne, Florida temperatures reached a high of 85 degrees, but inside a closed up vehicle temperatures can quickly rise upward to 120 degrees in less than an hour. These conditions can cause infants, small children and animals to suffer a heatstroke.
Some people think it is easier to leave an infant or small child in a parked car while quickly running into a store or running an errand, but the problem with leaving that child unattended in a car can lead to serious injury or even death. Infants and small children are particularly at risk. Studies show their bodies heat up three to five times faster than the average adult. However these tragedies can be prevented.
There are several websites dedicated to how we can keep our children safe and prevent this type of tragedies from occurring. For more information on keeping you child safe during this seasons hot summer temperatures; Visit; http://www.safekids.org/heatstroke