A 7-month-old baby boy was taken to an Illinois hospital Tuesday after his mother accidentally left him in a hot car for two hours, police say.
Joliet Police Department Deputy Chief Alan Roechner told WFLD News in a videotaped interview (shown below) that the child had to be revived twice after being found.
“Our paramedics, they revived the kid on scene and they transported him rapidly to the hospital,” Roechner said. “The kid did go into cardiac arrest at the hospital.”
According to police, the child’s mother said she believed the child’s father had taken the baby out of the car before she attended a business meeting in downtown Joliet around 10 a.m.
"She had been with the boyfriend and their two other kids earlier, before this. She had dropped them off at another residence and thought that the boyfriend had taken the baby with him in the residence,” Roechner told WLS News. “So when she went to this place, she thought she was by herself and didn't realize it at the time.”
The mother reportedly told police she got a call on her cellphone from her boyfriend while she was in the meeting, but she let it go to voicemail. When the meeting was over, sometime around noon, she listened to the message and heard the boyfriend asking where the infant was.
“It was at that point she realized he may still be in the car,” Roechner told the Chicago Tribune.
Police told WLS that the mother ran back to the car to find the baby limp and unresponsive.
She screamed for help and a parking lot attendant called for emergency personnel, according to the Tribune.
Roechner said the child’s internal temperature had reached 108 degrees by the time paramedics arrived.
The outside temperature had reached about 87 degrees at the nearby Joliet Regional Airport, reports the Tribune.
The child was taken to Advocate Children’s Hospital and was last reported to be in critical condition, though a family member did tell WLS Tuesday night that his condition was improving.
The mother has not yet been charged with a crime.
Roechner told WFLD the investigation is taking a toll on the detectives.
“It’s not the days you want to be here at work, it’s a tough one, especially all the detectives that work and have kids, it makes it tough,” he said.
Roechner told the Tribune that all information about the case had been handed over to the state’s attorney’s office for review. He said he did not believe the parents left the child in the car intentionally, but that all parents need to be vigilant.
“Double-, triple-check, make sure the kids are out of the car,” he said. “You have to make sure they're not in those vehicles. It's too dangerous.”
Photo Credit: WFLD News