A Missouri mother who arrived at her 1-year-old son’s day care Monday afternoon allegedly realized that she forgot to drop him off that morning.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that daycare officials and police concluded that Tate Mitchell sat in the hot van for hours on Monday. Though Mitchell’s mother arrived at Casa dia Montessori School at around 5 p.m., she quickly discovered her unresponsive son in her van.
KDSK reports that daycare staff deployed life-saving efforts and called 911. The child was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
St. Louis County Medical Examiner Dr. Mary Case said they haven’t determined an exact cause of death despite performing an autopsy on Tuesday afternoon.
Speaking with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Casa Dia Montessori School President Rick Deeba confirmed that Mitchell likely sat in the hot van all day.
“The first time we saw her and her child was at 4:55 p.m.,” he told the local paper.
Deeba said surveillance footage confirmed that the first time she came to the school was Monday afternoon. He noted that they don’t call parents when their children aren’t in attendance “due to too many fluctuating schedules.”
Mitchell is the first child in September—but the 38th child this year—to die in a hot car, according to NoHeatStroke.org. Temperatures in St. Louis reached 79 degrees on the day in question, according to the National Weather Service.
The daycare released a statement in light of the child’s tragic death.
“At 4:55 p.m. on Sept. 11, a mother arrived at Casa dia Montessori-Kinswood with an unresponsive child in her van. Once the mother realized he was unresponsive in her van, the student was brought into the building. 911 was called and cpr was administered to try to revive the child. The child was then transported by ambulance to St. Anthony’s Hospital,” it reads.
“All of our hearts are so saddened by this tragedy. And we grieve with this family at the terrible loss of this child. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”
This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information about the case is urged to call St. Louis County Police at 636-529-8210 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-8477.
[Featured Image: KDSK/screenshot]