LEE COUNTY, Fla. - A father is charged after his young daughter was left in a hot car and died. WINK News captured the heartbreaking scene in March.
The State Attorney's Office said charges were filed because of certain facts and circumstances in the case, but they will not elaborate on what those may be.
We found out, while sadly there are many deaths like this one, there are even more close calls.
Four hours in an SUV was all it took. 17-month-old Payton McKinnon died after her father Reginald McKinnon accidentally left her in her car seat while he was at work.
911 Operator: "Is there any air going in and out of the baby?"
Caller: "Her mouth won't even open."
WINK News tried to talk to McKinnon at his home. o one answered the door, but we did speak with his neighbor who has a similar story.
"My son is 21 now. We had him in the back of the truck sleeping. Luckily, we found him in about 15 minutes of me leaving to go to a job, but it was in the middle of the summer and it could have been catastrophic as well. Accidents happen."
Another neighbor doesn't understand how an accident of this magnitude is possible.
"I don't know how you can forget you have a child in the car. That's your responsibility as a parent. Not only are you responsible for yourself but for them as well."
That neighbor is glad an investigation was conducted.
According to Parenting magazine, 37 children die every year on average after being left in hot cars, but there are so many more "almosts" every year.
"They're your blessing and you wouldn't intentionally do that, but in the bussell of what is going on, it's easy."
WINK News expects to learn much more about this case when McKinnon is in court Monday.
Studies show close calls like this happen a lot because of the way our brains work. One part focuses on habits - like driving home from work everyday. The other part is short-term memory, like remembering to pick up milk on your way home... and that is where this problem falls.
To find out more, log onto: http://www.parenting.com/article/baby/health/tragedy-in-the-backseat-hot-car-deaths.