Local authorities in Louisiana have arrested a 40-year-old father whose infant daughter died after he inadvertently left her in his car for an entire day.
According to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the father, identified as Sheng Li, was supposed to drop 11-month-old Claire Li off at daycare on Thursday morning, but instead, forgot about her and headed straight to work.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Glen Boyd said that Li only realized his fatal mistake when he got home that afternoon and found that his daughter wasn’t there. He added that the young girl was then found in the vehicle already unresponsive, the Advocate reports.
With the help of a neighbor, the child’s parents, who speak mainly in Mandarin Chinese, rushed her to a local hospital, but doctors failed to revive her.
She was pronounced dead that same evening, and an autopsy report released the following day stated that she died of hyperthermia (heatstroke).
Sheng Li is now facing a negligent homicide charge following Claire’s death. In the state of Louisiana, negligent homicide means an unintentional killing resulting from a “disregard of the interest of others.” A conviction of such crime is normally penalized with up to five years in prison if the victim is younger than 10.
Due to the sensitivity of the incident, newly sworn in Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto, discussed the case in a compassionate tone.
“We can’t say this enough: Unfortunately, good parents with good intentions make bad mistakes,” Lopinto said in a statement to the press. “No parent out there wants to lose their child. … The parents are going to struggle just like anyone else would struggle. The most we can do is try to prevent the next one so we don’t have this interview in the future.”
Claire’s mother told WWL-TV in a brief interview that her 4-year-old son still hasn’t realized that his sister died, and revealed that she hasn’t been able to talk to her husband after his arrest.
Experts warn that the inside of a car has the potential to spike to deadly temperatures within minutes on a typically hot day.
Last Thursday, temperatures hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit in New Orleans, which means a car’s interior can exceed 155 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Jan Null, a research meteorologist at the San Jose State University.
Featured Image via JPSO