Baby Dies After Left In Van
HCSO: 9-Month-Old May Have Been Left In Van

POSTED: Tuesday, September 29, 2009
UPDATED: 4:35 pm CDT September 29, 2009

TOMBALL, Texas -- Deputies and Child Protective Services began investigating the death of a baby boy who was apparently left in a van outside a northwest Harris County home, KPRC Local 2 reported Tuesday.

A 27-year-old mother took her dead baby to Tomball Regional Hospital Monday at 10 p.m.

The woman told hospital staff that her son was unresponsive in a van parked at a home in the 12000 block of Piney Bend Drive in Tomball.

Doctors determined the baby had been dead for several hours.

"When the son was examined by doctors at the hospital, it was pretty clear to them that he had been deceased for a while," said Greg Pinkens of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

Homicide detectives said they think the baby was left inside his mother's van in the Three Lakes subdivision.

"No apparent injuries that would indicate a cause of death," said Pinkens. "There's some speculation that that may have occurred … that she may have left the baby in the car for an extended period of time. She appears to be distraught, but at this point, appears to be cooperating with investigators and talking with them about what may have occurred."

Detectives processed the van for clues. Officials said the van had a car seat, but there was no evidence as to what may have happened or why.

The mother was questioned. Her identity was not released.

Other family members are also being questioned.

Temperatures reached 93 degrees in Houston on Monday with the "feels like" temperature between 100 and 105.

Neighbors were shocked.

"That's devastating. That's something that just should never happen. It just should never, never, never happen. We're given a gift with these babies and to allow it to be taken away, for whatever the reason, there's no excuse -- none, none," Bob Ducharme said.

Officials said the case would be referred to the Harris County District Attorney's Office.