CALDWELL —A spokesman from the Canyon County Coroner's Office said it will be another week until the cause of death can be determined regarding a 5-month-old infant who was left in a hot car for several hours on Saturday.
Kyrae Vineyard was found unresponsive and without a pulse after police and first responders were called to the 4000 block of Cleveland Boulevardl around 4 p.m. on Saturday after being advised that a baby was in a vehicle.
The child was taken to a local hospital and declared dead. An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday morning to determine the cause of the infants death.
The child's mother, Elisa Johnson, told KTVB-TV that her boyfriend was watching Kyrae while she was at work and that he was signing papers for a new car at a dealership, when he lost track of time, leaving the 5-month-old in the baking sun.
"That's the only way I can put it is he killed my baby. He took her away from me," Johnson told the news station.
KTVB-TV reported that Kyrae's father lives in eastern Idaho and was there when the incident took place on Saturday.
"It's the worst pain you could ever imagine. It seems like there's never going to be a day where it's going to be easy," he said. "I'll never understand."
Caldwell police say they have spoken to witnesses and individuals involved in the incident and are waiting on a coroner’s report before determining whether to recommend charges to the Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
A GoFundMe has been started to help cover medical and funeral expenses for Kyrae.
CARS CAN HEAT UP EVEN ON A COOLER DAY
A cause of death in this case hasn’t yet been determined, but the incident is a reminder of the danger of leaving children unattended in cars especially heading into the warmer months of the year.
An average of 37 children die each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles, according to kidsandcars.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing injuries and deaths to children around vehicles.
So far this year, six children have died in hot cars nationwide, according to the organization.
Researchers determined that even on a sunny day with an outside temperature of 72 degrees, the interior of a car can reach 117 degrees in an hour, according to a 2005 study published in Pediatrics. Eighty percent of that heat came in the first 30 minutes. The study also found that cracking the windows made little difference in the rising temperatures.
The study found that on average, temperatures inside the vehicle increased 19 degrees in the first 10 minutes and 34 degrees in 30 minutes.
Children’s bodies overheat three to five times faster than an adult body, according to kidsandcars.org. Children died when their body temperatures reach 107 degrees, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
According to Boise Police, adults who leave a child in a hot car may still be charged with a crime, even if the child is not injured. The adult can be charged with felony injury to a child if the child is injured, or a misdemeanor if the child is left in the vehicle but not hurt.
In 2015, a Nampa man was charged with injury to a child after leaving his two children, both under age 3 in a car, when the temperature was 93 degrees outside. Neither of the children was injured. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor injury to a child.
Kidsandcars.org offers these tips to avoid to leaving a child in a hot car:
Safety steps include:
n Put something in the back seat so you have to open the back door when leaving the vehicle such as a cellphone, employee badge, handbag or shoe.
n Every time you park your vehicle, open the back door to make sure no one has been left behind. “Look Before You Lock.”
n Ask your childcare provider or babysitter to call you within 10 minutes if your child hasn’t arrived on time.
n Keep a stuffed animal in your child’s car seat and move it to the front seat to remind you when your baby is in the back seat.
n ocus on driving and avoid cellphone calls and any other distractions while driving.