Infant dies in DC after being left in hot car, police say

WASHINGTON – D.C. Police confirm an infant is dead after being left in a car on Tuesday evening. Police identified the victim as 3.5-month-old Aaron Boyd Jr. 

A law enforcement official tells FOX 5 it’s believed the child was left in the car for a couple of hours. 

This difficult and heart-breaking scene unfolded in the Park View neighborhood of Northwest D.C.

D.C. Police responded to the 600 block of Park Road around 6 p.m. Tuesday. A law enforcement official tells FOX 5 it’s their understanding the father apparently realized the situation and brought the infant inside the home, where the parent then called 9-1-1.

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A police report says the child was left in a black sedan. Temperatures hit the 90s on Tuesday. 

The family was incredibly upset when FOX 5 knocked on their door the next morning. Neighbors gasped after learning what sparked the heavy police and fire presence the evening before. 

D.C. Police said officers questioned the parents. However, it’s not clear whether police found any criminality or whether this was just a tragic accident. 

District authorities are also reviewing whether the city’s Office of Unified Communications (OUC) handled the 9-1-1 call and response properly, after Public Safety Advocate Dave Statter flagged another possible delay in the 9-1-1 response.

On the police and fire radio recording site, “OpenMHZ,” you can hear emergency crews being dispatched at 6:01 p.m. for an infant “locked in a vehicle.”

Then, they apparently cancel, ending Truck 6’s response a minute later. About 8 minutes after, is when we then hear another dispatch to the same Park Road address – this time noting a “cardiac arrest.” A cardiac arrest means the heart has stopped.

At around 6:28 PM, nearly a half an hour after the first dispatch to this emergency, is when first responders are now heard rushing the baby to Children’s National Hospital. 

The hospital is about a 5-minute drive away from the home involved, according to Google Maps. 

Paramedics told the hospital while in route, the infant was in cardiac arrest and that a parent had done CPR on the infant for about 8 minutes. 

There are still a lot that is not known in this investigation.

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At this time, it is not known why OUC canceled the first call for Truck 6 and whether the incident was upgraded to a “Cardiac Arrest” before or after the call was canceled.

FOX 5 received the following statement from an OUC spokesperson on Wednesday:

“The Office of Unified Communications expresses our sincere condolences to the family who lost their infant on August 9, 2022, after a call was placed for an infant locked in a car and then was updated to an infant in cardiac arrest. This tragic event is the subject of an active investigation. OUC will release the findings of our investigation when it is completed.”

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Public Safety Advocate Dave Statter, who tracks OUC issues, first flagged a possible problem with the response to this incident. Statter is critical of the OUC Director and the agency’s ability to investigate itself. He also says this is the 9th time in three years OUC has had this type of issue on emergency calls.

In situations where children and pets have been left in cars, officials advise leaving something like a wallet or one of your shoes in the back seat to be reminded there’s someone there in case you become distracted.

According to Noheatstroke.org, 14 child deaths so far this year have been linked to hot vehicles.

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