Authorities: Infant left in car, dies in Cape Girardeau County

After completing an autopsy about 1 p.m. Sunday, the Cape Girardeau County Coroner’s Office ruled hyperthermia as the cause of death of a 10-week-old girl who was left in a car seat Saturday in a vehicle at Parkwood Lake Estates trailer park in Cape Girardeau.

Hyperthermia occurs when a body absorbs more heat than it can dissipate and causes organs to shut down, according to Cape Girardeau chief deputy coroner Dennis Turner.

The infant was found by siblings and was transported by ambulance to a local Cape Girardeau hospital around 2:45 p.m. Saturday where she was pronounced dead, according to the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Department.

Turner said he could not estimate the exact amount of time the infant was left in the car without knowing the car’s exact internal temperature.

“Temperatures [inside the car] of 120 degrees would not be uncommon,” Turner said.

Sheriff’s deputies are still conducting an investigation of the incident, and could not offer further information on the case as of Sunday evening.

Turner declined to offer further comment, other than describing the incident as “very unfortunate.”

Anyone with information on the case can contact the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Department at (573) 243-3551 or by visiting its website at