3-year-old dies after he was found in hot car

HOUSTON – A 3-year-old boy died after he was found in a hot car in north Houston Thursday afternoon.

The child suffered cardiac arrest, according to the Houston Fire Department, and was rushed to Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital. Doctors couldn't save him.

Witnesses said the boy was pale and not moving when he was pulled from the car.

HFD responded to the scene just before 2 p.m. in the 1200 block of Hopper Road near the Hardy Toll Road.

It's unclear how the boy got in the car, a blue Volkswagen Passat parked in the front yard. The Houston Police Department Homicide Division is investigating.

The boy's mother was with him at the hospital while the father stayed behind to speak with authorities.

All of Southeast Texas, including Houston, is under a heat advisory. Highs in Houston reached 96 degrees Thursday with the heat index, or feels-like temperature, well into the mid-100s.

"We want to remind citizens that rising summer temperatures can cause an increase risk of heat stroke resulting in brain damage and death from children being left in hot cars," HFD officials said.

Boy dies as mercury approaches 100
HPD: Safety locks kept child from escaping

A 3-year-old boy apparently looking for a toy died on Thursday afternoon after being found in a hot car parked outside his family's home in north Houston.

Houston Fire Department spokesman Ruy Lozano said the call came in at 1:55 p.m. The boy was found in the 1200 block of Hopper. He was rushed to a local hospital

The child, whose name has not been released by authorities, got into the car through a front door and went to the back seat while apparently looking for a toy, police said. Police said it seemed the boy could not get out of the vehicle because child safety locks were engaged.

Neighbor Chris Johnson, who lives across the street, said the child managed to make it out of his home to the car, a Volkswagen Passat, without anyone seeing or hearing him. He was later found inside the vehicle.

"He was the poster child for the Energizer Bunny. He was full of energy and definitely full of life," Johnson said, adding he has known the boy's mother since elementary school. "All we know is that he was in the car and no one was there with him."

Johnson said the boy's mother has stage 4 cancer and is recovering from chemo treatment. The family had been home all day, Johnson said, and the child was able to get outside unnoticed.

"Anybody that knows anyone with cancer knows chemo will wear you out," Johnson said.

Houston Police Department spokesman Kese Smith said charges probably would not be filed against any member of the family. He said the death appears to have been a tragic accident. They are awaiting results of an autopsy.

The family noticed the child was missing after half an hour. They called 911 and immediately performed CPR.

It's unclear where the parents were when the child got inside the car. Johnson described the mother as kind and a longtime resident in the community.

The temperature reached nearly 100 degrees as neighbors watched HPD officers investigate the scene of the boy's death in a residential neighborhood. A heat advisory is in effect in the region until Saturday.

According to the group Kids and Cars, 13 children in the U.S. have died this year due to heat stroke. The group said in a press release that five children died in the first half of June 2015.

"If you have kids, and it's summer time and you're not going to be outside, make sure your car is locked," Johnson said. "It's a bad situation, it's a tragic situation but it's something that puts into light something you don't think about on a regular basis."