Great-grandmother charged after baby dies in hot car

Posted at 7:57 AM, May 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-14 07:57:41-04

MASON COUNTY, WV (WSAZ/CNN) – A 67-year-old West Virginia woman was arraigned Thursday on a charge of child neglect causing injury after her great-grandson was left inside a hot car for seven hours.

Police say the 19-month-old boy’s great-grandmother, Carolyn Davis, dropped off the boy’s mother at work the morning of April 5. She then drove back to her house.

Davis brought the victim’s 4-year-old sister inside but left the baby, Abel Stevens, strapped in his car seat.

“You can imagine a 19-month-old kid stuck in a car, no one there, screaming and crying,” said Cpl. A.B. Ward with the West Virginia State Police.

Police say temperatures outside that day reached 81 degrees. The car was not parked anywhere near the shade, and inside, it would’ve been anywhere from 120 to 140 degrees, they say.

Davis got back in the car that afternoon and drove back into town to pick the boy’s mother up from work. Investigators say at that point, the child was already dead.

“Mom gets in the car and says, ‘What's wrong with my son?’ And she goes to try to get him out, and he's stiff,” said Lt. Shawn Ross with Point Pleasant Police.

Police believe Davis knew the child was dead when she left to pick up the mother, but she didn’t want to be the person who reported it.

Davis watched the kids five days per week, and she wasn’t under the influence, according to investigators.

“I'm sure it was an accident. We're assuming he may have been asleep that morning when she took him home, and she just left him in the car to sleep and forgot about him in there all day,” Ward said.

Heading into the summer months, police say this is a tragic reminder why children should never be left alone in a hot vehicle.

Davis was arrested May 5 in Ohio.

Copyright 2017 WSAZ, West Virginia Regional Jail via CNN. All rights reserved.