CHESTERFIELD, Va. (AP/WJW) — Police say a Virginia toddler left in a vehicle for hours died and his father was found dead in an apparent suicide at their home.
Chesterfield County Police say the department received a call late Tuesday morning reporting that an 18-month-old boy may have been left in a vehicle for several hours.
Police soon received information indicating the child’s father was at his home and was making suicidal statements.
A news release says officers responding to the location found the child dead inside the house and the man dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in the woods behind the home.
Since 1998, more than 900 children have died of heatstroke in hot cars in the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports. The deaths occur after a child has become trapped or is accidentally left behind.
Anyone who is having suicidal thoughts can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.