ST. LOUIS – A 7-month-old infant was found dead in the heat of a parked car Thursday near the Washington University School of Medicine, authorities said. Hours later, a 2-year-old toddler was found dead in a vehicle in a suburb of Cincinnati.
Authorities said the 7-month-old's parents are a doctor and a medical researcher at the university. Their names and the child's name have not been released.
On a day when the temperature reached the upper 90s, a woman spotted the baby, called 911 and broke the car window, police Capt. James Gieseke said. The child was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The child had been in the car for three hours, Gieseke said. It's believed the mother left the child in the back seat of the father's car, but that the father thought the mother had taken the child.
"There was a horrible, devastating mix-up as to who was going to take the child to day care," Gieseke said.
Details were still sketchy because the couple were too distraught to give complete statements, Gieseke said.
Jan Null, adjunct professor of meteorology at San Francisco State University, said the death was the 22nd in the U.S. this year involving a child left in a hot vehicle.
A 2-year-old girl was found dead Thursday in her mother's sweltering sport utility vehicle in Union Township, about 20 miles southeast of Cincinnati, police said.
The girl, Cecilia Slaby, was strapped in a car seat in the rear of the vehicle, which was in the parking lot of Glen Este Middle School, where the girl's mother, Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby, is an assistant principal, said Clermont County Prosecutor Don White. No charges had been filed.
An autopsy was planned to determine the cause of death. Temperatures in the area reached 100 degrees Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
Police said they received several 911 calls about 3:15 p.m. from people who spotted the girl in the vehicle.