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Mom Faces Murder Charge After 9-Month-Old Dies in Unattended Car, Deputies Say

By Wire Service Content

WILKES COUNTY, N.C.—A woman was arrested after her 9-month-old son died before reaching a hospital, according to the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office.

At about 4:20 p.m. Thursday, deputies responded to a death investigation at Wilkes Medical Center.

Wilkes Medical Center in Wilkes County, N.C. (Screenshot/Google Maps)

After the 9-month-old boy was pronounced dead, a deputy approached the mother, Kayla Rochelle Rodgers, 23, of Winston-Salem, in the patient’s room at the hospital.

Rodgers told him she had hired a new baby sitter off the app CARE to look after her child while she was at work at the Eckerd Connects location in Boomer, which offers short term residential services for boys.

Winston-Salem mom faces murder charge after 9-month-old dies in unattended car, deputies sayWILKES COUNTY, N.C. — A…

Posted by Where is baby Kate? on Friday, May 3, 2019

When she returned that evening, she says she found the child face down in a crib at the baby sitter’s home at 4 p.m.

She said when she picked up the child, he was unconscious and not breathing. She then immediately brought the child to the emergency room.

Upon further investigation, however, the sheriff’s office concluded that Rodgers had knowingly left her 9-month-old boy in an unattended parked car for several hours while she was at work.

Rodgers was charged with murder and felony child abuse and is being held in Wilkes County Jail under no bond.

Kids in Cars

On average, according to advocacy website Kids and Cars, “37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles. Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death.”

“It doesn’t have to be a blazing hot day for these to happen,” Jan Null, a San Jose State professor and former meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told the San Jose Mercury News. “They can happen anywhere, and happen to anyone.”

Null told SFGate that the temperatures inside vehicles heat up rapidly, with the air rising about 19 degrees over whatever the outside temperature is in the first 10 minutes and rising another 10 degrees in the next 10 minutes.

Additionally, Null said the bodies of small children heat up three to five times faster compared to adults.

“So, while you and I could be in a car that’s, say, 109 degrees, an infant or small child would be to the point of entering heat stroke,” he said.

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