1-year-old left in hot car while father went to work in Mebane dies, police say

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Sunday, July 3, 2022
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A father left his 1-year-old daughter inside a hot car while he went to work Friday, according to Mebane Police Department.

MEBANE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Mebane Police confirm they are conducting a child's death investigation after a girl was found unresponsive in a car. According to Mebane police, a father left his 1-year-old daughter inside the car while he was inside the building working.

Officers received a 911 call around 12:30 p.m. on Friday about a child in a car parked off Oakwood Street Extension.

When first responders arrived, CPR was being given to the girl and they were unable to revive her.

Temperatures in Mebane on Friday rose up to nearly 90 degrees.

ABC11 Chief Meteorologist Don "Big Weather" Schwenneker said average in-car temperatures rise 43 degrees higher than the outdoor temperature in one hour. Meaning with temperatures near 90 degrees outside, in-car temps could be above 130 degrees.

Wake county mother Lindsey Rogers-Seitz could relate with the tragedy and empathizes with the faimly.

She was living in Connecticut when her husband left their son Benjamin in the back of his car during the workday in July of 2014. Her husband was charged but they took a plea deal so they could move on.

"You always struggle, and you always miss your loved ones and it's still difficult," Rogers-Seitz said. "Whether my husband was tired or exhausted--not sure really how it happens, but it does happen...It teaches you empathy and compassion and even though it's really hard to put yourself in someone's place try and understand that as humans we're imperfect and we have to live through our imperfections and live through them."

They have since moved back to North Carolina and she's gone before Congress along with non-profit Kids and Car Safety to try and get car companies to be required to put devices in to let everyone know there's a living being in the back of the car

"Benjamin had beautiful blue eyes and he had an infectious laugh and I'll never forget the weekend before he passed away, he said Mom for the first time," she said. "I always miss him and love him but can use his name to make change in society and help other people."

Investigators in Mebane are not releasing the name of the young girl or the father at this time. They said they also do not know how long the 1-year-old was left inside the car.

No charges have been filed, but investigators are working closely with the Orange County District Attorney's Office to determine if any are warranted.

Anyone with information in this case should call the department at (919) 563-9031.