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Questions surround heat stroke death of Shelby Township toddler

James Nelson
James Nelson
family photo

Six detectives from the Shelby Township police department are trying to sort out who was responsible for leaving a 2-year-old boy in a parked vehicle Tuesday, culminating in his death from hyperthermia. So far no one has been charged.

James Nelson was found at around 6:00 p.m. yesterday evening strapped into a child seat on the passenger side of a minivan parked in the driveway of his home in the 2000 block of Marmoor. That street is part of the Dequindre Estates mobile home park.

The child’s mother left that morning to work at a medical supply company in Troy, where her shift begins at 8:30 a.m. She drove a different vehicle.

The child is usually left in the care of his grandparents or with his mother’s female roommate. But yesterday something went horribly wrong.

James wound up strapped into the minivan, with its windows rolled up, and exposed to direct sunlight, for several hours.

By the time police had been notified, James had been dead for hours. He presented to Troy Beaumont Hospital with a temperature of 108 degrees.

Police have questioned family members and say everyone has been cooperative. The investigation is continuing.

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